Josh Mazzola Hit Three Home Runs in Winnipeg Goldeyes 14-0 Win: Goldeyes Gazette
Right fielder had been just four for his last 25, a .160 average, and had not hit a home run in 13 games. He had just seven RBI in the last 19 games and had one walk in his 11 games. To say that Mazzola was struggling was quite an understatement. The right fielder had to be wondering if his days in the everyday lineup were coming to an end.
Not anymore however. After a night that he went 4-5 with three home runs and six RBI, he has to feel a lot more confident about his position at this point. The career night gives him 12 home runs on the year, and his 54 RBI move him to 15th in the American Association.
Mazzola was not the only one having a big day however. Mazzola was the big bat on the night, but Nick Hernandez was the one keeping the Sioux Falls Canaries bats in check. The 6-4, 215 pound lefty pitched seven innings of two-hit shutout ball, to move his record to 10-2 on the season in 17 starts. The win was his fifth in a row, and was his third quality start in a row. He struck out six Canaries batters, and faced just 23 batters in his seven innings of work.
Hernandez joined with Kaohi Downing and Taylor Bratton on the two-hit shutout. Downing and Bratton both pitched perfect 1-2-3 innings with Bratton striking out two in his inning of work. The three dominated Sioux Falls hitters finishing just two batters over the minimum.
While Mazzola was having a big day at the plate, so was Jake Blackwood. The 3B went 3-6 on the day, including two home runs of his own. His outburst moved his home run total to nine on the year, and he added two runs and two RBI.
Every player who batted for Winnipeg on the day had at least one hit, including Jordan Guida, who had a solo home run in his pinch-hit appearance. Overall the team had 18 hits and 14 runs scored. It was an awesome onslaught that began from the very first inning.
The Goldeyes scored one run in the first inning and two more in the second. Canaries’ starter Kyle Vazquez was able to hold the Goldeyes scoreless over the next two innings, but in the fifth his day would be over when Winnipeg scored six runs. Blackwood and Mazzola both homered in the inning.
The Goldeyes were held scoreless in the sixth, but grabbed another run in the seventh when Mazzola hit his second home run of the game. In the eighth they were held scoreless again, but grabbed four runs in the top of the ninth, as Mazzola concluded his big day with another homer.
The win gave the Goldeyes an eight-game lead over the St. Paul Saints. The New Jersey Jackals will visit Winnipeg for a three-game series starting Monday. The Jackals just concluded a three-game sweep in St. Paul where they dominated every game.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA