The Winnipeg Goldeyes staged a dramatic 6-run, 9th inning comeback but ultimately fell short against the Gary SouthShore RailCats Wednesday night at Shaw Park. The win improved the RailCats record to 15-10 on the season, while the Goldeyes dropped to 14-11. The RailCats are one game back of the first place St. Paul Saints (16-9), while the Goldeyes now find themselves two games out of first place in the American Association North Division.
Gary opened the scoring in the third inning. Starting pitcher Charle Rosario recorded the first two outs of the inning, but three consecutive two-out singles by the RailCats gave them the game’s opening run. The Fish quickly responded in the home half. Grant Heyman reached by error, Jordan Ebert singled, and Andrew Sohn walked to load the bases for the recently acquired former Major Leaguer Dave Sappelt. Sappelt came through with a big groundball single to score both Heyman and Ebert and give the Goldeyes a 2-1 lead after three.
The Fish then extended their lead in bottom of the fifth. Ebert hit a leadoff double and stole third. He scored on a two-out RBI single by former Major Leaguer Reggie Abercrombie and the Goldeyes took a 3-1 lead to the sixth. RailCat catcher Andy Paz soon responded with an RBI single himself, slicing the Goldeyes lead to 3-2 in the sixth inning. Alex Crosby would double for the RailCats in the seventh and later tie the game on a wild pitch. In the bottom half of the 7th inning, Andrew Sohn hit a single and then was doubled home by Dave Sappelt, and this gave the Goldeyes the lead again at 4-3.
In the top of the eighth, Gary scored two runs to take a 5-4 lead. In the bottom half, Winnipeg would tie it, after Kevin Garcia legged out a leadoff triple and then scored on a two-out single by Jordan Ebert. Zach Hartman came out to pitch the ninth with the game tied at 5, and Gary rallied for six runs to grab a huge 11-5 lead. Hartman struck out the first batter he faced, but the second man up, Mitch Glasser, started the rally with a walk. This was followed by three singles, two doubles and a triple. Goldeye third baseman Josh Mazzola eventually came in to relieve Hartman and end the inning.
The Fish rallied back in the bottom of the ninth, coming all the way back to tie it, 11-11. Sappelt began the rally with a leadoff infield single. Eric Aguilera drew a walk, and Reggie Abercrombie loaded the bases with a single. Gavin Stupienski came in to pinch-hit and drew a four-pitch walk to force home Sappelt and cut the lead to 11-6. At this point, Keaton Steele came in to relieve Gabe Perez for the RailCats. Mazzola then singled off of Steele and Aguilera and Abercrombie scored to cut the lead to 11-8. Tucker Nathans followed this at-bat with a double, which scored Stupienski and moved Mazzola to third. Steele retired the next two batters, but Andrew Sohn hit a clutch two-out single to score Mazzola and Nathans and tie the game.
Victor Capellan came into the game in the tenth inning. Dale Carey led off with a walk and was sacrificed into scoring position at second. Capellan struck out the pancake batter, Reggie Wilson, and won everyone in the house free pancakes, courtesy of The Original Pancake House. Wilfredo Gimenez then doubled to score Carey and give the RailCats the 12-11 lead. The Fish attempted to rally back again in the bottom half, but after Aguilera led off with a walk, Adam Quintana struck out the side to secure his first save of the year, and earn the RailCats the 12-11 victory in extra innings.
Keaton Steele was credited with the win for the RailCats, while Victor Capellan was charged with the loss for the Goldeyes. Both Winnipeg starting pitcher Charle Rosario and Gary starting pitcher Daniel Minor took no-decisions. Minor and Rosario were actually traded for each other last August. Rosario allowed two earned runs on eight scattered hits in six and two-thirds innings of work. He walked two and struck out three. Minor allowed three runs, only one of them earned, on five hits in six solid innings of work. He walked three and struck out nine batters.
The Goldeyes are back in action this Friday, June 15, as they head to Sioux Falls for a three-game set with the Canaries.