Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Goldeyes drop first exhibition contest
THE Winnipeg Goldeyes used seven pitchers and 12 position players and it took five innings before the bats got fired up.
In other words, it was a typical pre-season baseball game.
The Goldeyes were defeated 8-7 by the St. Paul Saints in Shaw Park before a crowd of 2,515 in a game that lasted three hours and 10 minutes. The two teams meet again tonight at 7.
"We're just trying to get a look at everybody. The older guys we're pretty familiar with, but there's a lot of new faces in there," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney.
"We're trying to get guys plenty of opportunities to show us what they're able to do in a game situation."
Goldeyes' newcomer Dan Barbero had two hits and an RBI, left fielder Jon Weber had a pair of hits and two RBI while third baseman Amos Ramon had two hits.
The Goldeyes, who fell behind 4-0 in the first inning, scored six runs in the fifth to take the lead. The Saints scored their fifth run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch by Manitoban Anthony Friesen. While the Goldeyes committed four errors, their seventh run came in on a Saints' error and they led 7-5 after seven innings. The Saints regained the lead, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth.
There were a few exciting moments for the Goldeyes. A highlight-reel sliding catch by centre fielder Chris Roberson ended the fourth inning. The most athletic play of the night belonged to Goldeyes' fourth-year catcher Luis Alen, who caught a pop foul behind home plate and then had to jump over the cement retaining wall and into the screen in the fifth inning.
In the pitching department for Winnipeg, Matt Rusch pitched the first two innings, allowing four hits and four runs (none earned) and struck out five. Barrett Phillips, a left-hander, threw the third but appeared to have a leg problem after the second out. He stayed in the game, scooped a ground ball and fired it to first for the final out. Kaohi Downing stepped onto the mound in the fourth and tossed two solid innings, followed by Craig James in the sixth.
Friesen, a left-hander, pitched the seventh inning allowing a run, walking two and striking out one. Lefty Cody King took the mound in the eighth inning, walked two and struck out one. Dustin Northcott pitched the ninth and gave up three runs.
For anyone who was confused by the abrupt end to the top of the first after just two outs, the inning was stopped due to a high pitch count on Rusch. Though not common, it is allowed in AA exhibition baseball.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 8, 2012 D2
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