Victory Slips Away in Extra Innings
The Winnipeg Goldeyes battled back to take a late lead Tuesday night, but could not hold on.
The Goldeyes saw the gap between them and the second place St. Paul Saints get wider in the North Division after a 9-8 seesaw, eleven inning loss to the Saints.
Winnipeg's Amos Ramon hit two home runs and drove in three, but while he was the clutch performer in regulation, it was Dan Kaczrowski who was the extra inning hero for the Saints. Kaczrowski, who walked off on the Goldeyes on June 19, drove in the winner on a fielder's choice in the 11th inning.
Ramon's fifth home run of the season started the scoring for the Goldeyes in the first inning. The opposite field solo blast was Winnipeg first home run at home since June 14 against Quebec - a stretch of five games.
Each team would put up multi-run second innings. The Saints put their first five batters of the inning on base and they would take a 4-1 lead. However, Nick Liles responded for Winnipeg in their half with an RBI single, making it seven straight games he has hit safely in. Nate Samson followed that up with an RBI triple to make it a 4-3 game.
Sheldon led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run that just elevated over the wall past a leaping Lentini in centerfield. The Saints would lead 7-3 but in the fifth, Ramon ripped one over the left-field wall for his second home run of the game. It's the first time this season a member of the Goldeyes has recorded a multi-homer game.
In the next inning, a trio of two-out hits put the Goldeyes up front for the first time since the opening inning. Ramon came up big again, along with Casey Haerther and Josh Mazzola, to give Winnipeg an 8-7 lead heading into the final three innings.
The Goldeyes were one strike away from ending the game in the ninth, but Adam Frost stroked an RBI triple off Winnipeg closer Patrick Keating to tie the game at eight. It was Keating's first blown save of the season in his eighth opportunity.
Sheldon reached on an error charged to Ramon to lead off the eleventh inning. He would move up to third and score on Kaczrowski's groundball, which was not hit hard enough for the Goldeyes to turn a double play on. That run would be the decider and the Goldeyes now find themselves four games back of the North Division lead.
Kaohi Downing took the loss for Winnipeg to drop to 0-4. He worked both extra innings and got charged with the unearned run in the eleventh. Goldeyes starter Matt Rusch pitched five innings, allowing seven runs while striking out seven.
Saints reliever Matt Meyer pitched two innings to earn the win. St. Paul's bullpen did a good job picking up starter Luke Anderson, who only lasted two innings.
The two teams meet back at Shaw Park tomorrow in the second game of this four game series. Pete Gehle will get the start for the Goldeyes. Game time is 7 p.m.
Tickets for all Goldeyes games are available through Ticketmaster by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, clicking on Ticketmaster.ca or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the Shaw Park box office.
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