Armstrong Walk-Off Hit Gives Goldeyes Win in 11
By Doug Greenwald, Winnipeg Goldeyes
WINNIPEG, MB – It took 11 innings but the Winnipeg Goldeyes (11-13) swept their first series of the season defeating the Chicago Dogs (14-10) on Thursday night at Shaw Park. The Goldeyes have won three straight while the Dogs have lost six in a row.
The first six innings breezed as both starting pitchers dominated, however, neither would figure in the decision.
Chicago led 2-0 going to the bottom of the seventh and then Winnipeg got busy. Catcher Jackson Smith led off with a double. Left fielder Najee Gaskins followed with a single moving Smith to third. Then in a play that turned the game around, Goldeyes second baseman Brynn Martinez hit a grounder back to Dogs pitcher Nick Green. He attempted to start a double play but his throw went into center field. The error allowed Smith to score and it moved Gaskins to third. That made it a 2-1 Dogs lead. After a fielder’s choice at the plate for the first out, third baseman Dayson Croes was up with runners at the corners. Croes, hitless on the night, chopped a single through the left side which scored Gaskins to tie the game and moved center fielder Tra Holmes to third. It took Croes to his fourth at-bat to extend his hitting streak to 21. After Green was removed, Winnipeg shortstop Andy Armstrong came up after Croes and doubled to left field which gave the Goldeyes a 3-2 lead.
The Goldeyes added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a homer by Martinez (1). That proved to be key as Chicago took advantage of three walks from Winnipeg reliever Robert Klinchock in the top of the ninth to tie the game 4-4. Winnipeg needed one more strike to seal the deal but with the bases loaded and up 4-3, Dogs left fielder Taylor Jackson chopped a ball to short, Armstrong moving to his left flipped the ball to Martinez but Chicago right fielder Brennan Metzger was ruled safe at second as that tied the game. Chicago second baseman Donivan Williams tried to score from second but Martinez threw him out to preserve the tie.
Winnipeg had chances in the ninth and tenth but had runners thrown out at the plate each inning.
In the 11th, Chicago third baseman Cody Bohanek tried to move from second to third on a fly ball to right but was thrown out by Winnipeg right fielder Max Murphy.
The game-deciding frame had Martinez as the courtesy runner at second. With one out and runners at first and second, it was Armstrong who ripped the game-winning single to right which scored Martinez.
Winnipeg starter Joey Matulovich had personal season highs in innings and strikeouts, seven and eight respectively. He gave up two runs, four hits, and walked two.
Chicago starter Green worked six innings. He gave up eight hits, three runs (two earned), he walked one and fanned three.
RJ Martinez (3-1) pitched two innings and earned the win. Two of his wins have been in extra innings. Jonathan Cheshire (0-1) suffered the loss.
Winnipeg welcomes the Kansas City Monarchs to Shaw Park on Friday night with a 6:30 first pitch. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan (1-0) will start for Kansas City against Winnipeg righty Luis Ramirez (2-2).
For information on Goldeyes season tickets, group outings, and 10-game mini packs, visit the team’s official website Goldeyes.com.
Winnipeg is 3-0 in extra innings.
For the second straight season, the Goldeyes and Dogs split the season series 3-3.
Croes during the hitting streak is 34-86 (.395) with 19 RBI’s. He’s reached base safely in 22-of-his-23 games this season. The Aruba native has at least a hit in all 12 home games.
It was Armstrong’s third three-hit game of the season. He had four RBI’s in the series.
Brynn Martinez has reached base safely in 13 straight games.
The Winnipeg regular relief core in this series allowed two runs in ten innings (1.80 ERA). This does not count Travis Seabrooke‘s five shutout innings as the designated second pitcher on Wednesday.
Seabrooke along with fellow pitchers Brandon Marklund, and Landen Bourassa leave on Friday and will be away from the Goldeyes for roughly two weeks to pitch in the Pan American Qualifying Games representing Canada. The trio will report to the Tampa area for workouts before heading to the games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
All ten Goldeyes who batted either reached base safely or scored a run.
Kansas City Monarchs manager Joe Califpietra was at the game sitting in the press box getting a sneak preview at the Goldeyes.