Goldeyes win a Sunday scorcher


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A defensive masterclass and clutch late-game hits helped the Winnipeg Goldeyes secure a 4-0 win over the Gary SouthShore RailCats in a Sunday scorcher at Shaw Park.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/07/2022 (201 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A defensive masterclass and clutch late-game hits helped the Winnipeg Goldeyes secure a 4-0 win over the Gary SouthShore RailCats in a Sunday scorcher at Shaw Park.

It’s a sprint, not a marathon in a league where lots of baseball is played in a short amount of time. Winnipeg is 56 contests deep in the 100-game season and if you blinked, the first half of the year would’ve zipped by.

The players don’t have time to dwell on the past, but a versatile offence and strong defence have helped the Fish battle the injury bug and continue to perform at a high level, even when not always feeling at 100 per cent.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg Goldeyes’ Logan Hill (25) prepares to bat against the Gary SouthShore RailCats in Winnipeg Sunday.

“If you have a banged up unit you’re putting out there every day, days get a little long because you want to hurry things along and expedite their healing process,” said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. “But they do go by fast and I would anticipate the next six or seven weeks going by just as fast.”

A sound defensive strategy supports every good offensive attack and that was the story in Sunday’s contest.

Goldeyes rookie pitcher RJ Martinez found himself in a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning. However, he wasn’t fazed and got out of the inning thanks to some handy glove work.

Winnipeg’s defence stood tall, posting nine scoreless innings and only allowing four hits. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort as pitchers Jhon Vargas, Martinez, Bryan Blanton, Travis Seabrooke and Tasker Strobel stepped up to secure the shutout.

“Bases were loaded and one out in a nothing-nothing game and they’ve got two of the best hitters coming up,” said Forney. “He was able to keep them from scoring and swinging that momentum to their side, and to me that was the difference of winning and losing the game today.”

When Goldeyes power hitter Logan Hill struts to the plate, Loud and Heavy by Cody Jinks plays throughout Shaw Park. The opening line of the song is “Loud thunder, heavy rain” and while there wasn’t a cloud hanging over Shaw Park Sunday afternoon, the skies have opened up for him this season.

Hill has made it rain with 14 home runs so far season. It’s been an impressive campaign for the Floridian, compared to last season when he hit 10 home runs in 95 games.

He’s been a driver of Winnipeg’s offence along with first baseman David Washington and outfielders Max Murphy and Reggie Pruitt Jr., combining for 56 homers this season. They also all played a key role in the Goldeyes’ 30th victory this season.

“Honestly I still feel like it could be better,” said Hill. “I feel like I’ve been a bit unlucky too, my average is kind of down, but I’ve got some big hits when it counts throughout the year.”

Something had to give in Sunday’s contest, but neither side wanted to be the first to crack in such a defensive battle.

Pruitt Jr. got the Fish on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning, getting hit by a pitch, stealing second, then advancing to third base and being brought home on an Eric Rivera sacrifice fly.

“Any time I can get on base, you just gotta do whatever I can to help the team out and get a run on the board,” said Pruitt Jr.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg Goldeyes’ Raul Navarro (3) is chased down by Gary SouthShore RailCats’ Michael Woodworth (2) after trying to steal second.

Winnipeg’s 1-0 lead swelled in the bottom of the eighth inning, where catcher Hidekel Gonzalez got things going with a single. Shortstop Raul Navarro hit an infield single three batters later, setting up Murphy for a chance to increase the Goldeyes’ lead.

A wild pitch during Muprhy’s at-bat saw Navarro take second and Gonzalez advance to third. The RailCats intentionally walked Murphy following the wild pitch, loading the bases with two outs.

Washington made Gary SouthShore pay for walking Murphy, bringing home two runs and expanding Winnipeg’s lead to 3-0. Hill put the icing on the cake, cranking an RBI double to make it 4-0 Fish.

“That’s what you pay those guys to do,” said Forney. “You pay them to deliver RBIs in big situations and that was an important situation.”

The season’s grind continues as the Fish head out on a six-game road trip, opening a three-game series against the Chicago Dogs Tuesday and a rematch with Gary SouthShore to end the week.

“You gotta have some guys that can stay healthy, make it to the post and kind of welcome getting off that bus and playing,” said Forney. “It’s all part of our league.”

Twitter: Gavin77axe

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