Reggie Abercrombie Homers Twice to Lead Winnipeg to 7-1 Victory, Tie Series
A night after watching ace Charle Rosario get hit hard in a 12-7 loss, the Winnipeg Goldeyes turned to Edwin Carl, and the right-hander delivered an outstanding outing, holding the Wichita Wingnuts to a run in 6-innings of work. Wingnuts killer Reggie Abercrombie had an incredible night, blasting a towering drive for one of his two home runs in the 7-1 victory. That evened the American Association Championship series at one game apiece.
The Wingnuts threatened in the first but came away empty-handed. Christian Stringer singled to start the frame, but Edwin Carl retired the next two batters. With two down, T.J. Mittelstaedt grounded a ball to short that Andrew Sohn knocked down, but could not make a play on. With two on, Carl remained cool, fanning Matt Chavez to end the threat.
In the bottom of the second, Wichita took the lead. Richard Prigatano put together an impressive at-bat, fouling off five pitches to stay alive before drawing a walk. Brennen Salgado followed by blooping a single into right, moving Prigatano to third. Jacob Morris followed with a base hit up the middle that scored Prigatano to make it 1-0. Wichita still had two on with no one out, but Carl got Leo Vargas to hit into a double-play before Stringer flew out to end the threat.
Wichita threatened in the fourth when Prigatano tripled with one out. Salgado walked to put runners at the corners, but Morris fanned before Vargas flew out to keep the score 1-0.
Alex Boshers had been solid through the first four frames, He retired six of the first seven batters he faced in the contest. In the third, the right-hander hit the second batter of the inning, but induced a double-play to end the inning. In the fourth he gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, and had runners at the corners with one out, but pitched masterfully to get out of it, striking out Shawn Pleffner before getting David Bergin to ground out to end the threat.
The Goldeyes would finally get to Boshers and take the lead in the fifth. Wes Darvill led off the frame with a base hit, and advanced to second on a ground out. Andrew Sohn followed by lining a double down the line in left. That easily scored Darvill to tie the score. Next up was Casey Turgeon, who fell behind 0-2, then drilled a two run shot that just cleared the wall in center for his first home run of the playoffs. That gave Winnipeg the 3-1 lead, the first time that Wichita had trailed in the playoffs. Boshers got David Rohm to ground out, but a single by Josh Romanski kept the inning alive. That brought Reggie Abercrombie to the plate, who crushed a Boshers offering over the batter’s eye in dead center, a shot that was about 480 feet that made it 5-1. Shawn Pleffner then lined a ball that hit off of Brent Clevlen’s glove for a double and that would be it for the Wingnuts starter.
Tyler Kane relieved and was able to get the final out of the inning on a Bergin fly ball, however the damage was done. The Goldeyes scored five runs to take the four-run lead.
An inning later, the Goldeyes lead became five. Mason Katz walked with one out and moved to third on a base hit by Sohn. A wild pitch brought Katz home to make it 6-1.
Edwin Carl (1-0) breezed through the fifth and sixth, allowing a leadoff walk in the sixth before inducing a double-play. He went 6-innings, allowing 6-hits, 3-walks, and an earned run. He struck out 6.
Michael Lambson came on in the seventh and gave up a two-out single, but struck out Stringer to end the inning. Victor Capellan came on in the eighth and retired the side in order. He remained in the game in the ninth. The Winnipeg reliever issued a one-out walk, but struck out the side to finish off the victory.
In the ninth, Winnipeg extended their lead. Abercrombie led off the inning by drilling his second homer of the game over the wall in left-center. That made it 7-1.
Reggie Abercrombie finished 2-5 with 2-runs and 3-RBI. Andrew Sohn was 2-3 with a run and an RBI, and Casey Turgeon was 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI. Richard Prigatano led the Wingnuts offense, going 1-2 with a run and 2-walks.
The series shifts to Winnipeg for Game 3 on Saturday night. Jordan Cooper makes his first start of the playoffs after winning 8-games in the regular season. He will be opposed by Kevin McGovern (0-0, 8.00). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier