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Goldeyes Win Series Opener

WINNIPEG, MB – Never give up. Never surrender.

On Wednesday night in Lincoln, Neb., the Winnipeg Goldeyes found themselves trailing the Lincoln Saltdogs 4-0 heading to the top of the sixth inning.

But as they’ve done all year, the best team, through the first 100 games, in the American Association came back and won again.

Playing in front of a crowd of 1,195 at Haymarket Park in Lincoln, the Goldeyes scored four times in the sixth to tie it. Then they added the winning run in the eighth on an RBI single by Casey Turgeon as Winnipeg bounced back from four runs down to beat the Saltdogs 5-4 and steal the opener of the American Association’s semifinal series. In the other semifinal on Wednesday, Wichita beat Gary 4-2.

Goldeyes starter Kevin McGovern had allowed a single run in four straight innings from the second through the fifth as Winnipeg fell behind 4-0. Then, in the sixth, they exploded. Or, at least, they started walking. With one out, Player of the Year Josh Romanski walked and Reggie Abercrombie doubled, sending Romanski to third. Shawn Pleffner walked and then David Bergin doubled home both Romanski and Abercrombie to make the score 4-2. Wes Darvill was walked intentionally to load the bases, then Mason Katz drew the fourth walk of the inning to drive home Pleffner and make it 4-3. Andrew Sohn then hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Bergin and the game was tied 4-4.

In the eighth, Darvill singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Katz and, with two out, scored on a single by Casey Turgeon. That made it 5-4 and with the Winnipeg bullpen throwing darts, this game was almost in the bag.

After McGovern allowed four runs on seven hits through five innings, Edwin Carl, Mitchell Lambson (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Victor Capellan and Ryan Chaffee each pitched a scoreless inning to locke down the win. Chaffee got his first save of the playoffs.

Lincoln outhit the Goldeyes 11-9. Darvill went two-for-two with two walks and scored a run and Pleffner went two-for-four and scored a run. They were the only Goldeyes to have a multi-hit game. Turgeon, Romanski, Abercrombie, Bergin and Sohn each had one hit. Bergin drove in two runs while Turgeon, with the eventual winner, Katz and Sohn drove in the others.

It was huge win for the Fish who will play one more game in Lincoln before returning home to finish the series in Winnipeg this weekend.

In fact, the Goldeyes will meet Lincoln at Haymarket Park on Thursday night and then hop on the bus and head home to the friendly confines of Shaw Park to face the Saltdogs on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 6:05 p.m. and then play the “if necessary” games on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 4:05 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 11 at 7:05 p.m.

Plenty of good seats are available for Saturday’s game and every Goldeyes game can be heard on 93.7 CJNU radio.

Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports

Photo – Dan LeMoal

Editor of the popular Game On Hockey Magazine and The Point After Football Magazine, editor of Canadian Meat Business Magazine, sports editor of Grassroots News, TV play-by-play voice of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and author of the bestselling book: The Winnipeg Jets: A Celebration of Professional Hockey in Winnipeg. He likes virgin pina coladas, long walks on the beach, puppies and thoroughbred race horses that run according to form.
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