If you ask any pitcher on the planet, they will tell you that they love pitching with a lead, especially a big lead. It takes a lot of the pressure off and allows them to just pitch their game. Well, Wednesday afternoon Kevin “The Governor” McGovern must have felt like the skies opened and poured runs down on him as the Winnipeg Goldeyes put up 16-runs, and The Governor allowed just 4-hits to the Salina Stockade in the 16-0 victory.
This was a game that Winnipeg dominated from the very start. After McGovern retired the Stockade in order in the top of the first, his team staked him to a 3-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning. With one down, Josh Romanski went the other way to left field with a base hit. David Bergin then drew a walk and Reggie Abercrombie followed by hitting a home run to the deepest part of center field for his second homer of the season.
In the third the Goldeyes increased their lead to eight. Bergin singled to get the inning started before Abercrombie was hit by a pitch. Shawn Pleffner then singled to center to score Bergin and make it a four-run lead. Two batters later Mason Katz hit a ball to right center that hoped the wall for a ground-rule double as both runners scored. Wes Darvill then went the other way down the left field line for a double, plating Katz and David Rohm’s two-out base hit scored Darvill to make it 8-0.
Just three innings into the game the Goldeyes were rolling and they were just getting started. The fifth and sixth innings would see Winnipeg score four-runs in both frames. In the fifth, Darvill singled with one down and moved to second on a base hit by Casio Grider. Rohm grounded to third, but the second baseman could not handle the relay throw and the bases were loaded on the error. Romanski followed with a single to left that scored both Darvill and Grider. Bergin’s double to right-center field scored Rohm, and Romanski scored on a sacrifice fly by Abercrombie.
In the sixth, Katz walked with one out and moved to third on a double by Darvill. Two batters later Rohm plated both runners with a two-out double and Romanski followed by hitting his third homer in two days to make it 16-0.
Every player in the Winnipeg lineup had at least one hit and the Goldeyes put up 20 total hits. Josh Romanski finished 4-6 with 3-runs and 4-RBI and David Rohm was 3-6 with 2-runs and 3-RBI. It was a truly spectacular display.
However, that was only half of the impressive equation for the Winnipeg Goldeyes on this day. McGovern was proving that his dominating performance down the stretch last season was a sign of good things to come.
The left-hander was absolutely brilliant, ruling the mound as the Governor is known to do. He allowed a lone hit through the first three-innings and the only threat against him came in the fourth. In that frame he allowed a lead-off single to Jimmy Heck that was followed by a double by Daniel Aldrich. With runners at second and third and no one out, he struck out Jordan Caillouet and then walked Joey Miller. The game was 8-0 at this point, and this was the opportunity for Salina to get back into the contest, but McGovern made a brilliant pitch to induce Brad Cuyos to ground right back to the lefty, who turned the 1-2-3 double-play to end the threat. That double-play started a run where the Governor retired 15 of 16 batters he faced, only yielding a single in the sixth to Aaron Olivas who was erased from the base paths on a double play.
Kevin McGovern (1-0) went 9-innings, allowing 4-hits and a walk, while striking out 5. He faced just 30 batters in the game and 61 of his 90-pitches were strikes.
After completing the three-game sweep, the Winnipeg Goldeyes will remain in Wichita to take on the Wingnuts starting Thursday night. The Salina Stockade travel to Kansas City where they will take on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
By Robert Pannier