Fish fall short against Cougars
Goldeyes can’t muster third consecutive comeback
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The stage was set for another Winnipeg Goldeyes’ dramatic comeback — but the pro squad fell just short Thursday in a rare morning start at Shaw Park.
The Goldeyes dropped a 3-2 decision to the Kane County Cougars to close out a three-game American Association series. Winnipeg is 6-6 early in the 2023 campaign and tied for third place in the West Division.
The Goldeyes were in a familiar position, down 3-1 after just two innings. They have trailed by two or more runs in each of their last two games against the Cougars but eventually prevailed on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
The late-game magic didn’t materialize in front of a boisterous daytime crowd as the hosts went scoreless through the final five innings.
The Goldeyes benefitted from some solid pitching and defence but mustered just five hits on the day.
Third baseman Dayson Croes hit a single in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to nine games and then scored on a Jacob Bockelie single to left field.
The lead did not last long. Starting pitcher Tyler Jandron (1-1) struggled in the second inning, giving up back-to-back home runs as the Cougars vaulted to a 3-1 lead. The 28 year-old left-hander recovered with five shutout innings of work before giving way to reliever Brandon Marklund.
Jandron worked seven innings, giving up four hits while striking out seven batters.
“Tyler Jandron really gave us a chance to win” said Goldeyes manager Greg Tagert. “You know, we fall behind quickly, so try to eliminate those big innings. He’s had a couple of those, but he’s been outstanding both starts and gave us a chance.”
Winnipeg catcher Hidekel Gonzalez was also impressed with Jandron’s ability to turn things around. “Unfortunately, his sinker wasn’t executing enough, but after the second inning he was a different pitcher,” said Gonzalez. “We figured out all the sequences we were giving the hitters. He was throwing a lot of strikes early in the count so that makes us have a better feeling for what we wanna do.”
Kane County starter Jack Fox (2-0) who co-led the league in victories (11) last year, worked seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out three.
Gonzalez also contributed with his bat, crushing a solo home run in the fourth to close the gap. He has a team-leading four dingers in the first dozen games of the season.
The catcher admitted he has a simple approach at the plate. “Just see the ball and hit it hard,” he said.
The Goldeyes wrap up a nine-game homestand with a three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Shaw Park.