Goldeyes Win In 17 To Extend Series To Final Game
WINNIPEG, MB. — Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the American Association will provide fans – and players, managers and coaches — with something new and even more exciting.
In the bottom of the 17th inning on Monday night at Shaw Park in downtown Winnipeg, David Rohm delivered a walk-off double scoring Casey Turgeon with the winning run as the Fish beat the Wichita Wingnuts 4-3 to force a fifth and deciding game in the best-of-five American Association championship series.
With a win tonight, the Goldeyes will claim back-to-back championships for the first time in their history.
But it’s not what happened in the 17th inning that had fans and even players scratching their heads. It’s what happened in the bottom in the ninth.
With two out and Wes Darvill on second base, Turgeon grounded out to short to apparently end the game. However, as the Wingnuts were just starting their on-field celebration, homeplate umpire Joe Stegner and second base umpire Ian Kelley started waving and pointing. It seems that before the pitch, Wingnuts reliever Ryan Kussmaul had been charged with a balk. Turgeon went back to the batter’s box, Darvill was sent to third base and the Goldeyes had another chance.
With Wingnuts manager Pete Rose Jr. seething in the dugout, Turgeon worked the count to 1-2 and then drilled a double into the left-centrefield gap to score Darvill with the tying run.
From that point on, Goldeyes starter Mikey O’Brien, now in a reliever’s role, pitched six brilliant, scoreless innings of relief and then another starter Zack Dodson (1-0, 7.27 ERA) got the win by closing it out with two more scoreless innings.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 17 inning game tied an American Association record set by the Fort Worth Cats and Pensacola Pelicans on Aug. 3, 2007. Monday’s game also set an American Association record for longest game by duration at five hours and 59 minutes. The Goldeyes and Kansas City T-Bones held the previous record with a five-hour and 25-minute game at Shaw Park on July 15, of this year. The game also set a franchise record for longest game by duration, a mark that had stood since 2003.
The Goldeyes took a 2-0 lead In the bottom of the second when David Bergin drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Darvill. Two batters later, Sohn launched a two-out, two-run homer to open the scoring.
Wichita scored two in the top of the third to tie the game and then took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on an RBI single by TJ Middlestaedt. After that it was all chaos, great relief pitching and David Rohm’s 17th inning heroics. In fact, early this morning – the game ended around 1:15 a.m. – @DRohm2526 was trending on Twitter.
The Goldeyes were outhit 13-11 by Wichita. Casey Turgeon went three-for-seven with a run scored and one driven in while David Rohm went three-for-seven with the biggest RBI of the season. Wes Darvill finished with two hits and has hit safely in all eight of the Goldeyes’ postseason games. With the win, the Goldeyes improved to 19-15 all-time when facing elimination in the postseason.
Game 5 of this marvelous American Association Championship Series is slated for Tuesday night at Shaw Park at 7:05 p.m. Edwin Carl (9-4) will take to the mound for Winnipeg. Better get tickets. Fans were already lined up after the game last night to get seats.
—Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo – Dan LeMoal