Conners Walk-Off Grand Slam Completes Goldeyes Comeback
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (34-35) beat the Sioux City Explorers 11-7 at Shaw Park on Wednesday night.
Trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Goldeyes rallied for six runs to win the game. With one out, Kyle Martin, Raul Navarro, and Kevin Lachance drew consecutive full-count walks to load the bases. Logan Hill worked a fourth straight full-count walk to force home Martin. With Deon Stafford at the plate, a wild pitch from Keaton Sullivan brought home the tying run. After the Explorers (39-31) intentionally walked Stafford, Dakota Conners hit a grand slam home run to left to win the game. The homer was Conners’ fourth hit of the night, which tied a career-high. Conners also finished with a career-high six RBI.
Nate Antone (2-1) picked up the win in relief for the Goldeyes, striking out all four batters to face him in one and one-third innings. Sullivan (0-1) took the loss in relief for Sioux City.
The Explorers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Michael Lang walked leading off the game and went to third on a Dustyn Macaluso double down the left field line. Brendon Dadson lifted a sacrifice fly to centre that scored Lang. Two batters later, Jacob Bockelie plated Macaluso with a groundball to second base. Jordan Garr hit a two-out, RBI single down the left field line for the Explorers’ third run.
Macaluso stretched the lead to 4-0 in the top of the third when he led off with a home run down the left field line.
Dadson made it 5-0 in the top of the sixth with a two-out, RBI double to left.
The Goldeyes rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Three straight walks to Martin, Navarro, and Lachance opened the inning. Two batters later, Stafford hit a groundball to third. Garr fielded the ball and tried to come home for a force play, but bounced his throw in front of the plate allowing Martin to score. With the bases still loaded, Conners singled down the right field line to drive home Navarro and Lachance. Tyler Hill drove in Stafford with a sacrifice fly, and the Goldeyes evened the score on a two-out, RBI single from Wes Darvill.
The Explorers regained the lead in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from Dadson and a two-out, RBI double to left-centre from Bockelie.
Dylan Burns started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on six hits in 5.0 innings. Burns walked five and struck out one.
Winnipeg native Marc-Andre Habeck started for Sioux City and also took a no-decision, pitching four and one-third shutout innings on six hits. Habeck walked none and struck out one.
The series concludes Thursday afternoon at 12:05 p.m.
Advanced tickets for all Goldeyes home games are on sale now by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca. For more information about the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ 2021 remaining schedule, ticket options, and the Goldeyes’ comprehensive COVID-19 readiness plan, visit www.goldeyes.com