Capellan Holds Off AirHogs Comeback, 5-4
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (35-27) beat the Texas AirHogs 5-4 at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
Tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Willy Garcia ripped a leadoff single through the left side. Dominic Ficociello followed with a two-run, opposite-field home run to left-centre. Two batters later, Alex Perez drew an eight-pitch walk. Perez stole second and then scored on a two-out single to centre from Tyler Hill that made it 5-2.
The AirHogs closed within one run in the top of the eighth on RBI singles from Luo Jinjun and Li Ning. With the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Victor Capellan came in from the bullpen and struck out Jonathan Moroney looking to end the inning.
Capellan then worked around a pair of singles and struck out the side in the top of the ninth to earn his 20th save of the year. Capellan saved 22 games for the Goldeyes in 2018 and becomes the eighth pitcher in American Association history to post two seasons of 20-plus saves.
The Goldeyes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Hill singled to centre leading off, stole second, and scored two batters later when James Harris lined a single to left-centre.
Ficociello drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth and scored the Goldeyes’ second run on a Reggie Abercrombie double to left-centre.
Texas cut the Goldeyes’ lead in half in the top of the sixth when Jinjun beat out a potential inning-ending double play ball. Stewart Ijames hit a two-out, RBI double to left-centre in the top of the seventh that tied the game. Javion Randle followed with a single to right, and the Goldeyes kept the game tied when Willy Garcia threw out Ijames at the plate trying to score the lead run.
Joel Bender (1-2) picked up the win in relief for the Goldeyes.
Kevin Hilton (3-7) started for the AirHogs (15-47) and took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds innings. Hilton walked three and struck out three.
Joel Seddon started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on five hits in six innings. Seddon walked three and struck out four.
The series concludes Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Parker French (3-3, 4.85) takes on right-hander Erik Manoah Jr. Advance tickets are on sale now by visiting www.goldeyes.com/tickets or by visiting the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on 2019 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com.
By Steve Schuster