Homers Help Goldeyes Earn Series Win
By Jason Young, Winnipeg Goldeyes
LINCOLN, NE – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (38-49) defeated the Lincoln Saltdogs 8-3 at Haymarket Park Sunday afternoon. The Goldeyes won the season series between the two clubs eight games to five, with six of those victories coming in the Nebraska capital.
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead three batters into the game, with right fielder Max Murphy hitting a single to left field that brought designated hitter Dayson Croes in to score. They would make it a two-run advantage later that inning when catcher Jackson Smith singling through the right side of the infield to drive in Murphy.
The Goldeyes increased their lead to 4-0 in the second on back-to-back home runs from the bottom of the lineup. Second baseman Brynn Martinez led off the inning with a booming shot to left – his second round-tripper in as many games. Centre fielder Tra Holmes then took an 0-2 pitch over the right field fence for his second of the season.
Winnipeg’s four-run lead stood until the top of the sixth inning when shortstop Andy Armstrong lined a two-run single to left field. Third baseman Keith Torres and Martinez scored to make it 6-0 Goldeyes.
The Goldeyes hit their third home run of the day one batter later when Murphy smacked a two-run blast to right field to make the score 8-0. It was his league-leading 26th of the season and it gave him 81 runs batted in, also tops in the American Association.
Lincoln (42-45) finally broke through in the seventh on Luis Roman’s single to right field that drove in Yanio Perez and cut the Goldeyes’ lead to 8-1.
The Saltdogs came close to erasing an eight-run deficit Saturday and it looked as if they might be threatening to do so again in their half of the ninth inning. First, third baseman Will Kengor’s single to right field brought centre fielder Nick Anderson in to score, then pinch hitter Luke Roskam hit a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Kengor to trot in from third base to reduce Winnipeg’s lead to 8-3. However, with two men on base, Nolan LaMere was able to get the next batter, left fielder Aaron Takacs, to ground out to second base to end the ballgame.
Goldeyes starter Joey Matulovich (W, 5-9) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. He struck out seven and walked a pair. Matolovich’s third inning strikeout of Takacs was his 100th of the season.
Lincoln’s David Holmberg (L, 6-2) allowed eight runs – all earned – on ten hits over 5 2/3 innings while striking out eight and walking two. Both of Holmberg’s losses this season have come against Winnipeg.
Croes’ first inning single extended his hitting streak to 15 games. The rookie continues to lead the twelve-team circuit with a .364 batting average and 120 base hits. He along with Armstrong, Murphy, and Martinez all had two hits.
The Goldeyes return home Monday to open their final regular season homestand of 2023 when the Sioux Falls Canaries visit Shaw Park for the first of a four-game series. Game time is 6:30 p.m. Left-hander RJ Martinez (5-3, 5.60 ERA) will start for Winnipeg, while right Akeem Bostick (2-3, 4.21 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Sioux Falls. All the action can be heard locally on CJNU 93.7 FM and worldwide at cjnu.ca. Doug Greenwald will be on the air with the pre-game show at 6:00 p.m.
For information on season tickets, group outings, Skysuite rentals, patio bookings, and 10-game mini packs, visit the team’s official website Goldeyes.com.