The hard-charging Winnipeg Goldeyes continue to heat up. Winners of 11 of their least 13 games entering the contest, Canada’s team is really serving notice that if they make the playoffs they are going to be a force to reckon with. Saturday night, the Wichita Wingnuts got a first-hand look at how good these Goldeyes are, falling for the second straight night, this time behind Casio Grider, who was 3-3 with 3-RBI to lead Winnipeg to the 7-4 victory.
Winnipeg got on the board against Eddie Medina right away in the bottom of the first. The Wingnuts starter retired the first two batters of the inning, but Willie Cabrera doubled to keep the inning alive and Reggie Abercrombie followed with a double that made it 1-0. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, and Grider drove in two with the third double of the inning. It was an amazing rally that all came with two outs.
Mikey O’Brien held the lead through the second, but in the third Wichita tied the score, and it was a rather unusual player that got it going. Leo Vargas singled to start the frame, and Garrett Gould followed with a base hit. With several injuries, Wingnuts Manager Pete Rose, Jr. had a very limited bench and the pitcher was pressed into duty as the DH on this night. His single made it first and third with no one out. Richard Prigatano then reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Vargas. A single by Christian Stringer loaded the bases and two runners then scored on an error on a ball hit by T.J. Mittelstaedt. That tied the score at three.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Goldeyes retook the lead. David Rohm and Grider singled to start the inning and Wes Darvill followed with a single that scored Rohm to make it 4-3.
In the fifth, Winnipeg extended their lead to four. Cabrera started the inning with a single and Abercrombie then doubled to put two runners into scoring position with no one out. Jacob Rogers walked to load the bases, and Rohm then hit into a double-play that scored Cabrera. That made it 5-3. Abercrombie scored on a wild pitch and Grider then drilled his eighth homerun of the season to make it 7-3.
In the top of the sixth, Wichita got one of those runs back. With one out Matt Chavez singled, and he moved to third on a double by Martin Medina. Brent Dean drove home Chavez to make it 7-4, but that is as close as the Wingnuts would get.
O’Brien (9-4) pitched a solid game, going 7-innings, allowing 7-hits, 4-runs, only 2 of which were earned, and 1-walk. He struck out 4. Victor Capellan pitched the ninth inning for his first save with the Goldeyes.
Grider was perfect on the night, going 3-3 with a run and 3-RBI. He also walked once. Abercrombie was 2-5 with 2-runs and an RBI. Cabrera was 3-4 with 2-runs scored. Both Stinger and Chavez went 2-4 for Wichita.
These two teams close out their four-game series Sunday afternoon. Tim Brown (7-2, 4.42) goes for the Wichita Wingnuts. He will be opposed by Ethan Carnes (7-1, 3.12). Game time is 1:00.
By Robert Pannier