Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Goldeyes win second championship in franchise history, first since ’94

  • Print


WICHITA, Kan. — Our 18-year championship drought is over, Winnipeg.

Say hello to your new favourite sons, the 2012 American Association champion Winnipeg Goldeyes, who swept the final best-of-five series 3-0. Led by a two-run double by centrefielder Chris Roberson and a three-run double by catcher Luis Alen, the Goldeyes defeated the Wichita Wingnuts 8-3 at Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

It’s the first championship for the Goldeyes since 1994, their inaugural season when they won the Northern League title. Wichita was in the championship series for the first time in its five years in the league.

It’s the first championship in a professional sport for the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba since ’94. Winnipeg starter Matt Rusch got the win, tossing six innings and allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts.

Wichita starter Derek Blacksher went 51/3 innings, allowing five runs — two unearned — on nine hits with four strikeouts.

The Goldeyes were road warriors this season. Winnipeg was a better road team than home team with a .580 winning percentage on the road, winning 29 games.

The Wingnuts were tough in their own park with a .627 home-field winning percentage.

The Goldeyes scored five runs in the second inning, two of them unearned. First baseman Josh Mazzola started things off with a one-out double and was driven in by catcher Luis Alen’s single. Alen scored on a double to centre field by Mike Coles. Then there was a little two-out lightning by the Goldeyes as third baseman Amos Ramon singled to centre to drive in Coles. Next up was shortstop Price Kendall, who got aboard on an error by Wichita third baseman Greg Porter, who had the ball bounce off his glove. Roberson capped the inning with a two-run double, scoring Ramon and Kendall for a 5-0 lead.

The Wingnuts responded in the bottom of the second with a leadoff home run over the centre-field wall by first baseman C.J. Ziegler to get on the board.

In the fourth inning, the Goldeyes committed two errors and the Wingnuts set the stage for a comeback with two runs. Designated hitter John Rodriguez scored on a leftfielder’s error and first baseman C.J. Ziegler scoring on an error in right field to make it 5-3 Goldeyes.

Wichita had Winnipeg in a jam in the sixth with two runners on base.

Mazzola was tagged with a throwing error, Winnipeg’s third error of the night. Wichita’s Greg Porter got to first after Mazzola’s throw towards second hit Ziegler in the back. But Rusch got Winnipeg out of it by striking out catcher Jessie Mier for the final out.

In the seventh, the Goldeyes loaded the bases with none out after back-to-back walks to Yurendell de Caster and Barbaro Canizares were followed by a Mazzola single. Fish catcher Alen drove in all three with a double to the gap in centre to lift Winnipeg to an 8-3 lead. Twitter:@WFPAshleyPrest

A look at the Winnipeg Goldeyes' night of victory in Wichita as they won their second American Association championship in 18 years.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets This Week: Crunching the playoff numbers

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think the CMHR made the right decision in banning selfie sticks?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google