Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

When Frost goes yard, feeling lasts

Fish shortstop posts .301 at plate, hustle making up for inexperience

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He was one of the most unlikely home-run heroes.And yet there was the Winnipeg Goldeyes' Adam Frost jogging around the bases at Canwest Park Thursday, the hero of the night, thanks to a ninth- inning solo home run that proved to be the difference in a 1-0 game that was a true midsummer Northern League classic.

And so even the night after the night before, it was still worth asking: How's it feel to be a hero?

"What a great feeling," said Frost. "It was just what you'd expect it to be. That was special."

It was just the third home run of the season for Frost, who started the year as a utility man but has become a key part of the Goldeyes nucleus since replacing the injured Wes Long at shortstop.

Frost is hitting .301 in relief of Long and showing hustle to make up for his inexperience.

Take that game-winning at-bat, for instance. "It didn't start out too good, that's for sure," said Fish manager Rick Forney. "He started out 0-1 swinging at a curveball that wasn't even close. And I was thinking, 'What was that?' " Forney said.

"Then he squared around to bunt and that easily could have been 0-2. He kind of started that at-bat backwards."

But Frost redeemed the at-bat on the third pitch, crushing a hanging breaking ball over the centre-field fence for the win.

"It's not how you start an at-bat," Forney said, "it's how you finish it."

That playoff atmosphere

It's still midsummer, but there was a bit of a playoff feel in the ballpark Friday night.

With the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Gary SouthShore RailCats tied for first place heading into Friday night and facing each other in a three-game series this weekend, there's starting to be the feel that these games matter a little more than the rest.

The RailCats were 9-1 coming into this series while the Fish were 6-4, and there's an argument to be made that now would be as good a time as any to set a tone and send a message for the final month of the season.

But it's not an argument that third- baseman Brent Metheny is making. "It looks pretty big on paper," Metheny said, "but in a six-team league, every game is pretty much the same."

Metheny steals a score

Speaking of Metheny, his steal of home Friday night was almost as unlikely as Frost's game-winning home run the night before.

Metheny is not a small man -- he's 6-foot, 210 pounds --- but he does have some speed and he needed it all to steal home on a startled Gary starting pitcher Chris Jones.

And then he needed to do a little hop at the dish as he arrived at the same time as the pitch, sliding over top Gary catcher Brett Wallace and pawing the plate with his right hand in a very close play.

Although a steal of home is a baseball rarity, it's actually the third one by a Goldeyes player at Canwest Park in the past two seasons. Demetrius Heath stole home twice in 2008.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 2009 D4

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