WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (29-36) beat the Texas AirHogs 5-4 at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Goldeyes rallied for four runs to win the game. Grant Heyman ripped a double to right-centre on the eighth pitch of his at bat leading off. After Taylor Wright relieved Sean Stutzman, Jordan Ebert lined a single to right on a two-strike count to drive in Heyman. Tyler Baker singled through the right side to advance Ebert to third, and the Goldeyes pulled within 4-3 when Josh McAdams singled off the glove of a diving second baseman Du Xiaolei. McAdams advanced to second when the throw to second went into foul territory. Matt McCann then lined a single to left that scored Baker with the tying run. Two batters later, Reggie Abercrombie hit a game-winning sacrifice fly to shallow centre. McAdams scored ahead of the throw from Song Yunqi.
“I think that was a huge win for us,” said Heyman. “It gives us a lot of momentum going into the next series. Going into that last inning, no one was down. We didn’t seem defeated. There was a lot of energy in that dugout, and personally, when I saw that, I knew that we’d have a chance to win. That’s one of the great things about our team. We’ve been pushed down a few times, and we’re starting to claw our way back.”
The AirHogs (17-46) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a Corelle Prime two-out, two-run double to centre. Prime drove in two more runs in the fifth on a two-out single that made it 4-0.
With the Goldeyes still down 4-0 in the top of the seventh, Ebert made a sliding catch on the warning track in left-centre to rob Stewart Ijames with the bases loaded and keep Winnipeg in the game.
The Goldeyes’ went on to score their first run in the bottom half on a McCann fielder’s choice.
Victor Capellan (3-3) earned the win in relief with a scoreless top of the ninth. Wright (2-2) took the loss for Texas.
Kevin McGovern started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds innings. McGovern walked three and struck out nine.
Meng Weiqiang started for the AirHogs and also took a no-decision, pitching six shutout innings on two hits. Weiqiang walked three and struck out four.
Jack Charleston and Edwin Carl combined for one and one-third innings of scoreless relief. Heyman, Ebert, Baker, and McAdams were a combined 7-for-14 in the bottom four spots in the lineup.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series at home against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Friday night. First pitch from Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/Goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.