WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (19-20) lost 8-7 in 11 innings to the Gary SouthShore RailCats at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
Tied at 7-7 in the top of the 11th inning, Chase Harris doubled down the left field line with one out. Harris stole third base and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to centre field from Cameron Newell. Shawn Pleffner led off the bottom of the inning with a single to put the tying run on first before RailCats’ reliever Carlos Diaz (1-1) struck out the next three batters in a row to close out the game. Diaz earned the win having already pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th.
The RailCats jumped out to an early lead in the first. Newell was hit by a pitch leading off and took second on a wild pitch. After Reggie Wilson walked, Anthony Cheky laid down a sacrifice bunt to set up second and third with one out. Frank Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly to centre that scored Newell with the game’s first run.
Jeffrey Sneed, Ryan Fitzgerald, and John Holland opened the top of the second with consecutive singles to give the RailCats a 2-0 lead. Sneed’s hit was the first of his professional career. After Chase Harris walked to load the bases, Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Zack Dodson struck out Newell and Wilson back-to-back. Cheky then lined a single to centre that scored Fitzgerald and Holland. Martinez followed with a two-run double to left-centre that made it 6-0.
In the bottom of the second, David Bergin hit a two-out, solo home run to left-centre to get Winnipeg on the board.
Two innings later, the Goldeyes rallied for four runs to pull within 6-5. David Rohm drew a leadoff, four-pitch walk and went to third on a single to right-centre from Josh Romanski. The hit extended Romanski’s hitting streak to 11 games. Reggie Abercrombie singled through the left side to score Rohm, while Pleffner lined a double to left-centre that plated Romanski. Two batters later, Jack Fowler relieved RailCats’ starter Westin Wuethrich and allowed a two-run double to Wes Darvill on a flyball to right-centre that ushered in both Abercrombie and Pleffner.
After the Martinez double in the top of the second, Dodson went on to retire the next 14 batters in a row. The streak was broken in the seventh when Newell doubled down the right field line. Two batters later, Daniel Minor relieved Dodson. Cheky then lined a single to centre that scored Newell to make it 7-5.
Mason Katz led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run that struck the left field foul pole. The following inning, Romanski crushed a game-tying home run down the right field line that helped erase what had originally been a six-run deficit.
Dodson took a no-decision, allowing seven earned runs on six hits in six and two-thirds innings. Dodson walked two and struck out five.
Wuethrich also took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs on six hits in three and one-third. Wuethrich walked one and struck out one.
Brandon Quintero (0-2) took the loss in relief for Winnipeg.
Ryan Chaffee pitched for a third consecutive day and worked a scoreless top of the 10th. Kenny Mathews and Victor Capellan each chipped in a scoreless inning of relief. Pleffner has hit safely in eight in a row. The first pitch was delayed one hour and 14 minutes due to rain.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries on Friday night. First pitch from Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (3-2, 4.44) faces right-hander Miles Nordgren (2-2, 5.44).
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on Winnipeg Goldeyes’ season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com