WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (22-28) beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 5-4 at Shaw Park on Monday night.
Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jordan Ebert lined a single to centre on a 1-2 count with one out. With Ebert running on a full count, Tyler Baker reached on an infield single to first that struck Canaries’ first baseman Patrick Fiala. Ebert advanced to third on the play. After Tucker Nathans came back from an 0-2 count to walk and load the bases, Matt McCann poked a single down the right field line that scored Ebert with the winning run.
It was the Goldeyes’ first walk-off win of 2018.
“That’s a good, hard-earned win by our team,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “It’s no secret we’ve been scuffling lately, but the guys kept plugging away, and we finally got to their starter in the sixth. We had some pretty good at bats against Nordgren. Schepel is a pretty right-hander, so it’s encouraging that we were able to get some offence against that type of arm.”
Winnipeg trailed 4-0 as late as the sixth inning. With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the sixth, Nathans slugged a ground rule double to right-centre field. McCann followed with a single down the right field line that scored Nathans with the Goldeyes’ first run of the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Josh Mazzola reached leading off with an infield single, and took second on a line drive single to centre from Grant Heyman. Ebert beat out a potential double play ball on a grounder to shortstop that moved Mazzola to third. Baker drove in Mazzola with a sharp single up the middle, cutting Sioux Falls’ lead to 4-2. After Nathans was struck out during an eight-pitch at bat, McCann smacked a two-out triple down the right field line that plated Ebert and Baker with the tying runs.
“I have a lot of really good hitters behind me, so I know that I’m usually going to get pitched to in situations where runners are on base,” said McCann. “I just tried to keep it simple and focus on some of the things I’ve been working on in the cage. It just happened to work out today.”
Sioux Falls struck first when Dan Motl led off the game with a home run to left-centre. Later in the top of the first, Blake Schmit legged out an infield single and scored from first on a double to right-centre from David Bergin.
Motl tripled leading off the third and scored the Canaries’ third run on a Jordan Smith groundout to first base.
In the top of the fifth, Jordan Dean led off with a triple to right-centre. The Canaries (19-28) stretched their lead to 4-0 when Dean scored on Fiala’s groundout to shortstop.
Cameron McVey (2-0) picked up the win in relief with a scoreless top of the ninth. Kyle Schepel (0-4) took the loss for the Canaries.
Kevin McGovern started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on seven hits over seven innings. McGovern walked none and struck out nine.
“Kevin knew he was going to be in there for a while,” said Forney. “We’re depleted in the bullpen because of the injuries we’ve been hit by. Kevin is no stranger to this situation. He pays attention, and knows where we’re at.”
Joe Bircher started for the Canaries and also took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on eight hits in five and two-thirds. Bircher walked five and struck out four.
McCann finished with three hits, a walk, and four RBI. Romanski also had three hits, while Nathans, Reggie Abercrombie, Heyman, and Baker each had two. Jack Charleston pitched a scoreless top of the eighth for Winnipeg.
The series continues tomorrow at 11:05 a.m. Alex Boshers (2-5, 6.09) takes on right-hander Kevin Folman (2-1, 3.86). 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.