In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps an incredible night of baseball in the American Association, as there were just three games on the schedule. That included Josh Mazzola driving in six in a loss to the Sioux Falls Canaries, and Brady Shoemaker homering twice to help the Saints down the T-Bones.
Canaries Win Slugfest Despite 6-RBI by Josh Mazzola
Josh Mazzola did everything he could to help the Winnipeg Goldeyes get out of their current rut, homering and driving in a career-high six, but 4-RBI from Jordan Dean helped the Sioux Falls Canaries prevail, 12-8. Chris Grayson added 3-runs and 4-hits for Sioux Falls and Nicco Blank earned his second victory of the season with two outstanding innings of relief.
Amazingly, this was actually a scoreless tie after the first two innings, but both teams would get a run in the third. Winnipeg starter JC Sulbaran retired the first two batters of the inning, but Patrick Fiala hit the first pitch he saw for his second home run of the season to put the Canaries up by one.
Winnipeg got that run right back in the bottom half of the inning. Matt McCann singled with one out and moved to third on a Josh Romanski base hit. Canaries starter John Straka struck out Reggie Abercrombie, but gave up a base hit to Grant Heyman that brought home McCann to tie the score.
Sioux Falls responded with three runs in the top of the fourth. Chris Grayson led off with a single before David Bergin walked. Jordan Smith was hit by pitch to load the bases and a wild pitch moved everyone up 90 feet, bringing Grayson home. Maxx Garrett walked to reload the bases before Jordan Dean hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Bergin. Mitch Glasser would bring home the final run of the inning with an RBI single and the Canaries led 4-1.
In the fifth, Sioux Falls looked like they took a commanding lead. Blake Schmit singled to start the inning, and Pete Perez came on to pitch for the Goldeyes. Grayson greeted him with a single and both runners would move up on a double steel two batters later. With runners at second and third, Smith singled bringing Schmit home to extend the lead to four. Garrett walked to load the bases and two runs scored when Dean singled into center extending the lead to six.
Winnipeg showed incredible resiliency, plating five in the bottom half of the inning. McCann and Romanski started the inning with back to back singles, and Abercrombie would bring home McCann with a base hit up the middle. An error allowed Heyman to reach to load the bases and Josh Mazzola followed by crushing his ninth home run of the season, a grand slam that cut the deficit to one.
The next two innings were the calm before the storm, as neither team would score in the sixth or seventh, but the eighth proved to be a wild affair.
In the top of the eighth, Dan Motl reached on an error and scored when Schmit followed with a double. A single by Grayson brought home Schmit to extend the lead back to three. That brought Bergin to the plate, who drilled his third home run of the season. With two down, Dean added a solo shot to extend the lead back to six.
Winnipeg cut into that lead right away in the bottom of the eighth. Miles Nordgren retired the first two batters of the inning, but Abercrombie singled into left field before Heyman followed with a base hit to center. Both runners came home on a Mazzola double to make it 12-8, but the Goldeyes would get no closer.
Niccol Blank (2-0) earned the victory, tossing two scoreless innings. Jordan Dean finished 2-4 with a run and 4-RBI for Sioux Falls. Chris Grayson was 4-6 with 3-runs and an RBI. That ruined an incredible day by Josh Mazzola, who was 2-4 with a run and 6-RBI.
Brady Shoemaker Homers Twice to Power Saints to 9-2 Victory
The St. Paul Saints opened up their four-game set against the Kansas City T-Bones with a 9-2 victory. That came courtesy of Brady Shoemaker, who homered twice and drove it four. Left-hander Chris Nunn tossed seven outstanding innings for his second victory since joining the Saints. St. Paul trailed by a run heading in the top of the fifth when they would score two on a Kyle Barrett two run blast. An inning later, solo home runs by Shoemaker and Matt Snyder extended the lead to three, and Shoemaker added a three run homer in a four run seventh to give St. Paul a commanding lead.
Tony Thomas Hits League Leading 14th, Wingnuts Win, 6-2
Tony Thomas hit a two run homer in the bottom of the first, helping to send the Wichita Wingnuts to a 6-2 victory over the Texas AirHogs. Leading by two runs in the fifth, Abel Nieves brought home a run with an RBI single and Hunter Clanin hit his second home run of the season in the sixth to extend the lead for Wichita to 6-1. Casey Harman (6-2) earned the victory, allowing a single run in six innings of work. Clanin drove in three.
By Robert Pannier