WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes beat the Wichita Wingnuts 18-2 in Game Five of the American Association Championship Series at Shaw Park on Wednesday night.
The Goldeyes win the best-of-five series 3-2 and are the 2017 American Association champions.
It is the Goldeyes’ third championship in the last six seasons and the fourth in franchise history. The Goldeyes are the first American Association club to win back-to-back titles since the Fort Worth Cats in 2006 and 2007. Goldeyes’ first baseman Shawn Pleffner hit for the cycle, while starting pitcher Edwin Carl set a franchise record with his fifth postseason win.
Pleffner lined a single to left-centre leading off the bottom of the second and took second when David Bergin singled to centre. After Wes Darvill sacrificed the runners ahead, Mason Katz smacked a double off the wall in left to drive in Pleffner and Bergin with the game’s first runs. Andrew Sohn followed with a sharp single up the middle that scored Katz. After Casey Turgeon singled through the left side, David Rohm singled through the left side to score Sohn and stretch the lead to 4-0. Alex Boshers relieved Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown and walked Josh Romanski to load the bases. Reggie Abercrombie then plated Turgeon and Rohm with a single through the right side. Pleffner capped the inning with a line drive, three-run homer to left that made it 9-0.
Rohm singled up the middle leading off the bottom of the fourth and advanced to second when Romanski walked. Abercrombie smashed a double inside the left field line to score Rohm, and Pleffner extended the lead to 12-0 with a two-run double to right centre. After Seth Harvey relieved Boshers, Bergin crushed a two-run home run over the batter’s eye in centre field.
Abercrombie drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth, took third when Pleffner reached on an error by centre fielder Jacob Morris, and scored the Goldeyes 15th run when Bergin singled through the left side.
The Wingnuts got on the board with two runs in the top of the seventh. TJ Mittelstaedt and Matt Chavez opened the inning with consecutive singles. Richard Prigatano doubled down the right field line to score Mittelstaedt. Chavez then scored on a wild pitch. Mitchell Lambson relieved Carl and struck out Morris and Leo Vargas back-to-back to end the inning.
After Lambson worked a perfect top of the eighth, the Goldeyes added three more runs in the bottom half. Pleffner completed the cycle with a leadoff triple to right-centre and scored two batters later when Darvill singled through the right side. Darvill hit safely in all nine of the Goldeyes’ postseason games. Katz followed Darvill with a long, two-run home run to left-centre that provided the game’s final margin.
Victor Capellan closed out the game with a scoreless top of the ninth, retiring Brennen Salgado on a groundball to second for the final out.
Carl (2-0) allowed two earned runs on five hits in six and one-third innings. Carl walked three and struck out three. His five postseason wins over the last two years surpass Rick Forney for the Goldeyes’ franchise record.
Brown (0-1) took the loss, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in one and one-third innings. Brown walked none and struck out one.
All nine Goldeyes’ starters had at least one hit and one run scored. Seven Goldeyes had at least one RBI. Wednesday was the 13th Game Five in a postseason series in team history. The Goldeyes are now 7-6 in Game Fives, and improved to 20-15 when facing elimination in the postseason. The Goldeyes won the Northern League championship in 1994, while capturing the American Association title in 2012 and 2016.
The Goldeyes open the 2018 season in May and will be celebrating their 25th year.
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