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This article was published 15/7/2017 (1121 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes capped off a magical week Saturday night with one of the most surreal, bizarre victories in their history.
So where do we begin?
Well, let's start with how they won: It's the bottom of the 14th inning and the Kansas City T-Bones are completely out of pitchers, having already used their entire bullpen and then their centrefielder to get through a pair of innings. So they bring in starting pitcher Matt Sergey, who is coming off a 105-pitch performance in Fargo 48 hours earlier. As a result, the righty ends up using his left arm to throw — and promptly walks the first two Goldeyes batters he faces.
After a sacrifice bunt moves them over to second and third, Sergey is asked to intentionally walk Goldeyes hitter Mason Katz to set up a bases-loaded, one-out force play situation. But instead of just making a routine wide toss to his catcher, Sergey — we remind you, he's using his wrong arm to throw — sails one to the backstop.
Shawn Pleffner trots home with the game-winning run on a wild pitch intentional walk, and what's left of the 4,413 fans who were at the game when it started five hours earlier are sent into a frenzy. The Goldeyes had just won their sixth straight game in the most dramatic of fashion, pushing them ahead of Kansas City and into the wildcard playoff spot.
But as crazy as the ending of the game was, it was filled with several other memorable moments.
In fact, it never would have even gotten to extra innings if not for what went down in the ninth. Winnipeg had turned an early 7-2 deficit into a 9-7 lead. But a seemingly routine fly ball to right field with two-outs in the ninth was dropped by David Rohm. The very next batter then hit a two-run, game-tying homer.
Kansas City then pulled ahead with a pair of runs in the top of the 13th — only to have Winnipeg respond with two of their own in the bottom of the 13th against centrefielder Kyle Petty, who had been brought in to pitch once the T-Bones ran through their entire bullpen.
In addition to all this, Goldeyes shortstop Andrew Sohn had the game of his life, going 6-for-8 with 7 RBI. His six hits tie an all-time team record.
So back to the beginning of the game. The Goldeyes got off to a rough start, as Kansas City jumped all over starting pitcher Zach Nuding in the second inning by belting three early homers. One of them was a two-run shot by Joe Jackson, the great-great-grandnephew of major-league legend (Shoeless) Joe Jackson.
Winnipeg got a couple back in the third off a two-out, two-run blast to left field from Sohn.
The T-Bones added one in the fourth and chased Nuding from the game, then scored another in the fifth off Jackson's third RBI of the night to make it 7-2.
Goldeyes outfielder Josh Romanski had a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth. Sohn then hit a two-out, bases-loaded single in the sixth which cashed in a pair and brought the Goldeyes within two.
Mason Katz came through in similar fashion in the seventh with his own two-out bases-loaded single to score two and tie the game. And then Sohn did it again, as his fourth hit of the game scored two more and put the Goldeyes in front.
After Kansas City tied it in the ninth, then took the lead in the 13th, the Goldeyes stormed back with a pair off RBI singles from Sohn and Romanski.
Then came the truly incredible finish to the game one inning later.
Reliever Mitchell Lambson ended up getting the win, going four innings in relief. The Goldeyes had no other pitchers left in their bullpen and would have had to either use one of their starters or position players had the game gone much longer.
Winnipeg (31-23) is now a half-game up on Kansas City (30-23) for the wildcard playoff spot. The Goldeyes have also moved into a first-place tie with the St. Paul in their division after the Saints dropped a 17-15 decision to Fargo-Moorhead in 11 innings Saturday.
The Goldeyes have now outscored opponents 71-16 during their six-game winning streak. Winnipeg and Kansas City finish their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Shaw Park.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.
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