Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Mazzola's smash gives Fish win
Two-run blast in ninth the decider
A two-run, ninth-inning home run by Josh Mazzola delivered the Winnipeg Goldeyes a 4-3 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Sunday.
It was the Goldeyes' fifth win in the seven-game road trip that wrapped up Sunday. Winnipeg, which boasts an 11-5 road record, returns home to Shaw Park today to meet the Lincoln Saltdogs for a three-game series. The games are tonight and Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 11 a.m.
The 16-6 Goldeyes swept Fargo in the three-game series. Winnipeg won 5-2 Friday and 9-4 Saturday and has a 4 1/2-game lead on St. Paul for first place in the North Division.
Mazzola's ninth-inning homer Sunday was his fourth of the season. With the Fish up 4-0, Goldeyes closer Nick Carr came on in the bottom of the frame only to promptly give up three runs.
"It turns out those (Mazzola) runs were very important for us," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney in a telephone interview after the game.
Fish starter Matt Rusch had a strong outing, pitching eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits, no walks and a team season-high nine strikeouts.
"Matt did a great job for us. You don't feel so much pressure when you're getting performances like we've been getting from our starters," Forney said. "Our starters have been putting a lot into these games and that sort of effort is contagious. Hopefully Fabian (Williamson) can keep that going at home."
The Goldeyes will start southpaw Williamson (1-3, 4.84 ERA) tonight while Lincoln is expected to start Justin Edwards.
In the first two games against Fargo, the Goldeyes got big performances from both Ace Walker and Chris Salamida. On Friday, Walker set a Goldeyes record for career strikeouts, moving to 315 and eclipsing the record of 313 held by Forney.
On Saturday, Salamida was solid.
With Rusch's third win of the season, the Goldeyes won their fourth straight on Sunday.
"It was a good start and I really got into a tempo with (catcher Kyle) Day back there," Rusch said in a statement. "It was an all-around good effort. When they did hit it hard, our defence was there to make the play."
Rusch pitched seven shutout innings and struck out five batters last Tuesday in a 9-0 win over the Saltdogs in Lincoln. Walker, Salamida and Rusch combined for 23 1/3 of the 27 innings played against Fargo in the three-game set and allowed just three earned runs.
Fargo reliever Tom Boleska, who gave up the shot to Mazzola, was thrown out of the game two batters later when he threw behind David Narodowski.
Fargo catcher Ryan Delago roughed up Carr for a two-run double while outfielder Sergio Pedroza followed with an RBI single in the ninth.
Goldeyes second baseman Price Kendall had three hits and scored a run, right-fielder Mazzola finished with three RBI, first baseman Luis Alen had three hits and a run scored and third baseman Yurendell de Caster chipped in two hits and a run scored.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 11, 2012 C5
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