The Winnipeg Goldeyes and Wichita Wingnuts will try again to play Game 3 of the American Association Championship at Shaw Park this afternoon- stay tuned here for updates:
Good afternoon folks and welcome back! We’re ready for Game 3 today between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Wichita Wingnuts, and it appears that today Mother Nature is on our side. So far, it looks like a gorgeous day for baseball. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.
Just some clarification: Today is Game 3. The American Association (and the majority of baseball leagues) try to avoid doubleheaders in the postseason. Therefore, Game 4 has been moved to tomorrow and Game 5 has been moved to Tuesday.
Shortstop Andrew Sohn has been removed from the starting lineup today, as he nurses an injury. He does remain on the lineup card and could potentially come in as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner or a defensive sub. With Sohn out, Jordan Ebert makes his first start of the playoffs, and he’ll slide over to second base. This moves Casey Turgeon to third and Wes Darvill to shortstop. Time will tell how these shuffles will affect the Fish today.
The starting pitchers remain the same. Kevin McGovern for the Fish, Jordan Cooper is going for the Wingnuts.
And we are about to get underway! The players have taken the field. Here we go! Leading off for the Wingnuts, Christian Stringer. First pitch right on time at 4:05. Swinger is retired by McGovern. Martin Medina steps up to the plate. Medina lines it into Turgeon’s glove for the second out. Brent Clevlen now up. Solid start for McGovern as he strikes out Clevlen to end the inning. Crowd getting into it, Fish up to bat.
Third baseman Casey Turgeon, who has a home run in the series, leads off for the Goldeyes. Turgeon swings at the first pitch, and ends up grounding out to second. David Rohm now up. Rohm with a sharp single past the dive of Leo Vargas, bringing up American Association Player of the Year Josh Romanski. Romanski tied with Reggie Abercrombie for most RBI on the Goldeyes during the regular season, each with 81. And Romanski will draw a 4 pitch walk to put runners on first and second with one man down for the aforementioned Abercrombie, who homered twice last game. AND REGGIE COMES THROUGH AGAIN. A DOUBLE TO DEEP LEFT FIELD DRIVING IN ROHM AND THE FISH TAKE AN EARLY 1-0 LEAD. Shawn Pleffner now at the plate, and the American Association batting champ grounds out but drives in a run to expand the lead. DH David Bergin now up with Reggie on third and two out. And Bergin flis out to medium right field, ending the inning. Goldeyes lead 2-0 early.
T.J. Mittelstaedt will go to work against McGovern, who shut the door in the first. McGovern with a huge strikeout of Mittelstaedt. Matt Chavez, the AA RBI king with 84 during the regular season, steps to the plate. He led Wichita with 17 home runs this year. Chavez grounds out, and there’s two away. Richard Prigatano, who has more RBIs than anyone in the postseason, is up. Prigatano hits it towards third, Turgeon makes the long throw over to Pleffner on first for the final out of the inning.
Fish look to add on to a 2-0 lead. Wes Darvill, Mason Katz and Jordan Ebert due up. Darvill flies out to dead center, Katz up. Katz battles for seven pitches, but is ultimately retired on a groundout. Ebert is now batting, as he is the replacement for the injuried Andrew Sohn. Ebert, while coming off the bench, is by no means a slouch. He had a very consistent year for the Fish. Ebert with a tough liner to first, which is caught. Cooper has a nice bounce-back inning as we head to the third. Score: Goldeyes 2, Wingnuts 0.
Kevin McGovern will face Brennen Salgado, Jacob Morris and Leo Vargas. Salgado with a laser over to right, bounces over Ebert. He’ll take first, giving the Wingnuts their first base runner of the afternoon. McGovern induces a pop-up of Morris, retiring him and leaving Salgado at first. Vargas steps up, with the top of the order Stringer on deck. McGovern strikes out Vargas, it’s his second K of the game. Stringer is now up. Salgado on first, two men down. Stringer grounds out, and that’s another solid inning of work for All-Star Kevin McGovern.
Goldeyes will send out the top of the order; it’s Turgeon, Rohm and Romanski. Turgeon gets a 4-pitch walk. Up now is Rohm. Turgeon is a base running threat and is drawing the attention of Cooper. Rohm flies out, Turgeon stays at first, Romanski now up. Romanski with a hard fly out on the first pitch, bringing up my personal favourite Goldeye: Reggie Abercrombie. Reggie is retired on an iffy called third strike. Crowd doesn’t like it. Turgeon stranded after a lead-off walk.
McGovern back out for a fourth inning of work. He’ll face Medina, Clevlen and Mittelstaedt, who, along with DH Matt Chavez can be considered the meat of the Wingnut batting order. Medina leads off with a solid single to centerfield. Clevlen comes to the plate, as Wichita tries to manufacture a run or two. DOUBLE PLAY. McGovern forces Clevlen to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, and there’s two down and nobody on here in the fourth. McGovern continues his steady play, striking out Middelstaedt for a second time in as many at-bats.
Jordan Cooper, who has bounced back since giving up two runs in the first is back out for the Wingnuts. He’ll face batting champ Shawn Pleffner, Goldeye home run king David Bergin, and Canadian kid Wes Darvill. Pleffner strikes out looking on four pitches. Bergin steps up, and while he battles Cooper hard the end result is a groundout on a soft-hit ball to first. Darvill up. Darvill lines a hard it double down the right field line. 2 men out, runner in scoring position for the catcher Mason Katz. KATZ LINES A SINGLE AND DARVILL WILL SCORE. He gets caught in a run down after overrunning first, on a very sound defensive play. However, Darvill’s run will stand at the Fish expand their lead to 3-0.
McGovern enters the fifth inning giving up no walks and just two hits. He has struck out four. He will face Matt Chavez first. Chavez smacks one out to right field, but David Rohm gets under it and makes the catch. Richard Prigatano steps up with one away and no one on. Priganto with a solo shot and the Wingnuts are on the board, it’s 3-1. It had appeared that Prigatano had swung through for strike three earlier in the at-bat, but clearly the ump didn’t see it that way. Salgado up. McGovern bounces back with a nice strikeout of Salgado. Jacob Morris will step up with two men down, one run in and no one on the bags. AND MCGOVERN GETS BACK-TO-BACK STRIKEOUTS TO END THE INNING. 3-1 FISH.
Leading off is Jordan Ebert. He’ll be followed by Casey Turgeon and David Rohm. Jordan Ebert with a ground out to Stringer. Here comes Turgeon, who walked his last time at the plate, after grounding out on one pitch to lead off the game for the Fish. A pitch inside to Turgeon is ruled to have hit him, he’ll go to first and David Rohm will go to the plate with one down and threat on the bags. Rohm flies out to center, and Josh Romanski will come up with two down and Turgeon on first. Romanski hits the ball high, hard and well, but it is caught out in left by Salgado. Score remains 3-1 in favour of the Goldeyes.
McGovern is set to come out for a sixth inning of work. He will face Vargas, Stringer and Medina, hitters 9,1 and 2. McGovern with another strikeout, this time of Vargas. Three in a row, seven on the night for McGovern. Stringer up. Stringer with a nice single up the middle, just out of Wes Darvill’s reach. Martin Medina steps up for Wichita now. Medina ends up flying out near foul territory in right. Clevlen with a sharp broken-bat single, giving Wichita their first real threat of the ball game, runners on first and second with 2 down for the dangerous T.J. Mittelstaedt. Mittelstaedt lines a double, missing a go-ahead home run by a couple of feet. Stringer scores but Clevlen, who represents the tying run, is absolutely gunned down by Romanski as he broke for the plate. Fish survive a scare and it’s 3-2 in their favour as we head to the home half of this inning.
Reggie Abercrombie will lead off. He’s followed by Shawn Pleffner and David Bergin. This is a dangerous part of the Goldeyes’ batting order. Jordan Cooper hits Reggie with the first pitch, he’ll be awarded first base. The Wingnuts have gotten an arm up and throwing in the bullpen, likewise for the Fish. It’s Josh Goossen-Brown who is warming for Wichita. Pleffner pops out for the first out of the inning. Here comes Bergin with Abercrombie on first. Reggie with a successfull steal of second to get into scoring position. Count 3-2 to Bergin. Bergin strikes out swinging, Darvill is up with Abercrombie in scoring position over at second. There are two away. Darvill pops out, and the inning is over. The Goldeyes are still ahead 3-2.
New pitcher in the game for the Goldeyes, and it’s Victor Capellan. Six strong innings for McGovern. He gave the Goldeyes what they needed. He gave up six hits and two earned runs. Capellan goes to work against Matt Chavez. Capellan appeared in 50 games this season, or half of them, which led the league. Chavez is struck out, Katz completes the strikeout by throwing to first. Richard Prigatano, who homered last time up, steps up to the plate representing the tying run. CALLED THIRD STRIKE OVER THE HEART OF THE PLATE. PRIGATANO IS SAT DOWN. Two away, Salgado is up. Salgado hits it hard and he hits it well, but he hits it right at Reggie Abercrombie. Capellan retires the side.
Josh Goossen-Brown has entered for Wichita He’ll face Mason Katz, Jordan Ebert and Casey Turgeon, hitters 8, 9 and 1. Katz with a high popout into foul territory, nearly into the stands. Ebert is up with one down. Ebert is retired with a tough groundout that gave Clevlen problems over at first. Turgeon is retired on a call that looked like a ball, and the inning is over. Goldeyes continue to cling to a one run lead, it’s 3-2 as we head to the eighth.
Capellan out for second consecutive inning. He sat down the side in order in the seventh. Jacob Morris leads off. And Morris is sat down with a strikeout by Capellan. Leo Vargas steps up to the plate. Vargas grounds to first on the first pitch, the ball looked foul, but the umpire ruled it was fair and Vargas is gone. Christian Stringer is up now, two outs here in the eighth. Stringer has his second hit, a hard-hit ball out to right, and the tying run is on board. Medina steps up and will look to change the game. It appeared Stringer was thrown out running for second on the steal attempt, he was ruled safe. Medina works a full count walk, and there’s now runners on first and second with two down for Brent Clevlen. Clevlen drives in the tying run.. 3-3. Runners on the corners for Wichita. Mittelstaedt up. Capellan falls behind 2-0 and Rick Forney is up and pays a visit to the mound. Capellan gives up a single. Wichita takes a 4-3 lead. The Wingnuts with some two out magic after a questionable call on Stringer’s steal of second. Runners still on the corners for Wichita. Matt Chavez steps up. Capellan again gives up a single. 5-3 Wichita. And after giving up four straight hits mixed in with a walk, Capellan’s day is done. Goldeyes will have to fight back. Runners on first and second for Wichita, and here comes Ryan Chaffee for the Fish. He’ll face Richard Prigatano. Chaffee ends the inning with a one pitch fly out. Goldeyes need to fight back here as we head to the bottom of the eighth.
David Rohm, Josh Romanski and Reggie Abercrombie will try and kickstart the Fish comeback, as Winnipeg is suddenly down 2 runs. They will face new Wichita pitcher, Mike Devine. Rohm is retired, though he nearly beat the throw to first. Romanski up. Romanski grounds out. Up now is Reggie Abercrombie. Abercrombie is a strikeout victim and the inning is over. Things are looking bleak for the Goldeyes.
Chaffee will try and give the Goldeyes a chance. He faces Brennen Salgado first. Chaffee strikes out Salgado. Morris now up. And Morris is down, another strikeout for Chaffee. Leo Vargas up. Vargas with a nice single that gets past the gloves off both and Turgeon and Darvill. Christian Stringer is up as Wichita looks for more two-out magic. Chaffee is out of the game, now pitching is Canadian Evan Rutckyj. And Rutckyj will retire Stringer and the side is retired.
Last chance here for the Goldeyes. Shawn Pleffner, David Bergin and Wes Darvill are up and have to get something going. Closer Ryan Kussmaul in the game for Wichita. Pleffner is struckout looking and there’s one down. Bergin is up and flies out on the first pitch. Last hope for the Goldeyes is Wes Darvill.Darvill pops it way up and he is retired, and the ball game is over. Wichita is within one of a championship, as they steal one on the road.
That’ll do it for tonight’s live blog. Be sure to join us tomorrow for Game 4, as the Goldeyes try to come back and win this series.