Comeback seals sweep, as Goldeyes pull farther ahead

Photos by JEFF and TARA MILLER,

Never give up, never surrender.

The Winnipeg Goldeyes battled back from a 4-0 deficit and beat the St. Paul Saints 6-4 at Shaw Park on Thursday night to win their fourth straight game, sweep a three-game set from the Saints and pull six full games ahead of St. Paul in the race for first in the American Association’s North Division.

Ethan Hollingsworth got the start for the Fish and although he gave up four runs in the third, he battled hard to pitch 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball and that effort kept the Fish in the game. Meanwhile, the hitters scraped out a run in the third, one more in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the seventh while the bullpen was flawless.

Despite a three-run homer by the Goldeyes’ nemesis, Willie Cabrera (his fourth homer of the series), Winnipeg played tremendous defensive baseball, got some key hits and allowed the Saints to score in only one inning.

“That was a good one to come back in,” said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. “To come back from 4-0 is a nice way to come back. Ethan settled down after giving up four and the bullpen got their outs. It was a real good series and it was great to come back in that one. Keep that streak going.”

It was a huge win for the Goldeyes who improved to 51-32 on the season. With 17 games left Winnipeg is now up six on the Saints, five in the loss column. The two teams meet again for a three-game set in St. Paul from Aug. 26-28

The Saints took a 4-0 lead in the third. With two outs and Joey Becker on first, Devin Thaut singled and then Evan Bigley drove home Becker with another single. The next batter, Willie Cabrera, hit his ninth homer of the season and his fourth of the series to drive in three and give the Saints a commanding lead.

But in the bottom of the third, Luis Alen, Brock Bond and Jake Blackwood singled and Alen scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tyler Kuhn.

In the fourth, the Goldeyes cut into the lead again. This time, Donnie Webb led off with a triple and scored on a double by Josh Mazzola.

Then, in the fifth, the Fish tied it up as Bond walked, Blackwood singled, Kuhn moved them both up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt. Casey Haerther singled to drive home Bond and then Blackwood scored on an RBI ground out by Reggie Abercrombie.

In the seventh, the Goldeyes took the lead for the first time as Bond walked, Blackwood singled and Bond scored on a sacrifice fly by Kuhn. Haerther then singled and Blackwood scored on a single by Abercrombie.

Taylor Sewitt (1-0, 2.80 ERA) got the victory in relief for Winnipeg while Saints starter Nick Barnese (6-7, 3.95 ERA) took the loss. Chris Kissock (2.36 ERA) picked up his team-leading 13th save of the season. The Goldeyes finished with six runs on 12 hits while St. Paul was held to four runs on 10 hits.

Immediately after the game, the Goldeyes got on the bus and headed south to Sioux Falls, S.D. The Fish and Canaries will open a three-game weekend series in Sioux Falls on Friday night. Chris Salamida (6-3, 3.21 ERA) will get the start for Winnipeg while Matt Wickswat (2-7, 6.45 ERA) will take to the bump for the Canaries.

The game can be heard live with Steve Schuster at the microphone on The Jewel 101 (100.7 on your dial).

Tickets for all 2014 Winnipeg Goldeyes games are available through Ticketmaster by clicking on, calling 1-855-GOLDEYE or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the Shaw Park box office.

American Association North Division standings

Team W L Pct GB Streak Last 10
Winnipeg Goldeyes 51 32 .614 4W 6-4
St. Paul Saints 44 37 .543 6 6L 3-7
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 37 46 .446 14 1L 3-7
Sioux Falls Canaries 28 56 .333 23.5 2L 2-8
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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