Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Goldeyes 5 Saltdogs 1

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Not even a spit of rain could dampen the Goldeyes' blazing arms on Friday night, as they stretched their historic win streak to eight games.

The Fish broke out early, scoring two on a first-inning home run from outfielder Josh Mazzola, and cruised to a win with a combination of timely hits and tight defence. If the Saltdogs were to get in the game, it might have happened in the bottom of the third, when Dog outfielder Stephen Douglas whacked out a beauty along the left foul line. But left-fielder Tim Smith made a brilliant diving play to snag the ball and shut down the inning.

Another sign of a hot-blooded bench: outfielder Fehlandt Lentini -- never a shrinking violet -- got tossed late in the match after, ahem, expressing some opinions to umpires.

óó GAMEBREAKERS

The first time Josh Mazzola picked up a bat, he slammed out a home run that put the Goldeyes on the board right off the top. In his second stand at the plate, he knocked out a double that put him in position to score on Casey Haerther's single just a couple of minutes later.

It certainly helped the Fish that the 'Dogs couldn't get much: Justin Garcia threw strong off the mound, striking out 12 Saltdogs in 6 1/3 innings worth of work while giving up five hits and only one run.

óó KEY PLAY

How's this for grace under fire: In the top of the sixth with two outs and two runners on base, infielder Amos Ramon blew a triple deep into right field, which sent Luis Alen and Nate Samson safely home. That put the Goldeyes up 5-1, and deflated the 'Dogs hopes.

óó FISH WRAP

"I made some adjustments from the Amarillo series," Mazzola said after the game as he watched red and blue fireworks bloom over the outfield. "I've been working with Tommy (Vaeth, hitting coach) to get better direction to the ball, and hopefully get more consistent contact. I felt like I did that tonight... but it could be better." Well, that's one way to put opposing pitchers on notice.

óó ON THE HOOK

The Goldeyes will look to keep the streak alive in Lincoln tonight. The four-game series wraps up Sunday afternoon then it's back to Winnipeg for the home opener at 7 p.m. Monday against the Laredo Lemurs.

-- Martin

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 C6

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