THE Winnipeg Goldeyes snapped their losing drought Sunday with a big 4-2 walkoff win to avoid a series sweep by the Gary SouthShore Railcats.
After a costly error in the ninth inning allowed the RailCats back into the game on a cool and rainy day at Shaw Park, the Fish pulled it out in the 11th to get their first win in six games. Brock Bond, known for his discipline at the plate, drew his second walk of the game in the frame to start the action. After a sacrifice bunt from Casey Haerther, Reggie Abercrombie launched a game-ending two-run homer to earn the win for Winnipeg.
The Fish opened the scoring in the third. Catcher Luis Alen drew a lead-off walk and Jordan Guida then grounded to shortstop, but the throw was wild and Alen took third base.
Tyler Kuhn then slapped a single to right to score Alen and put the Fish up 1-0. Two batters later, Bond put up a sacrifice fly out to score Guida, who was tagging from third base.
After eight innings of shutout baseball, Goldeyes starter Chris Salamida gave up a lead-off single in the ninth. Two batters later, a double pulled the RailCats within one and ended Salamida's night. Brendan Lafferty came in to try and alleviate the damage.
With two out and a runner on third, an easy ground ball to first baseman Haerther was snagged, but he threw too high to Lafferty, who was covering the bag, allowing the tying run to score.
WHAT THEY SAID
Reggie Abercrombie on the pitch he swatted:
"I've been struggling a little bit, just trying to see the ball deep like Tom (hitting coach Vaeth) said. Fortunately he left a curve ball up and I put a good swing on it and got it out."
Abercrombie on his recent struggles:
"I've been doing extra everything (with Tom Vaeth). You know, just trying to go out there and just try to play day by day. You know, (manager Rick) Forney came to talk to me yesterday, told me not to get down on myself... In that locker-room nobody is panicking, we go out here and have fun every day."
Forney on the bullpen:
"Yeah, they've been good all year. You know it's just getting to the point where it's starting to scare me a little bit, we've got to start scoring some more runs with some consistency," he said. "So we can get some of these other guys in there and not lean on Lafferty and Kissock as much as we have to. At the same time we don't want each appearance that they make to have the outcome of the game hinging on one mistake, so we got a long way to go but today was certainly a step in the right direction."
ON THE MOUND
Salamida (3-3) was solid, putting up zeros through 8 1/3 innings, but coming away with a hard-luck no-decision for his efforts. He was charged with the two runs the 'Cats scored in the ninth, it was one of his better performances of the year against a hot-hitting team.
The Goldeyes have today off before hosting the St. Paul Saints in Game 1 of a three-game set Tuesday at Shaw Park.
-- Kyle Edwards