Fish overcome early deficit to win series

You just never know when the Winnipeg Goldeyes offense is going to explode.

Saturday night in front of 3,023 spectators in Wichita, Kansas, the Goldeyes put up three runs in the top of the eighth to come from behind and beat the Wichita Wingnuts 6-4.

Trailing 4-1 after the second inning, the Goldeyes battled back with a pair of runs in the fifth and three more in the eighth and won their fifth straight game, locked up the three-game series with their second straight win in Wichita, improved to 26-15 and remained in first place in the American Association’s North Division. It was a big win for the Goldeyes as second-place Sioux Falls took a double header from Gary and cut Winnipeg’s first-place lead to 3.5 games.

The Wingnuts lost their second straight game to Winnipeg and fell to 30-11 on the season.

“We came out a little flat today,” said pitching coach Bill Pulsipher on the TSN 1290 post-game show. “Matt (Rusch) didn’t have a great warm-up today but he hung in there long enough for the guys to get going and score a few runs.

“Matt has been the leader of our staff along with Ace (Walker) but I don’t think there is a better pitcher in the American Association right now. I don’t think the homeplate umpire knew who was pitching tonight because I thought the umpire was really hard on him in the first few innings.”

The Goldeyes took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as leadoff man Price Kendall walked, went to third on a single by Chris Roberson and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jon Weber, but Wichita answered in the bottom of the first with a single run off starter Matt Rusch and then scored three in the second to take a 4-1 lead.

Neither team scored until the fifth when Kendall singled, Roberson walked, both runners moved up 90 feet on stolen bases and then both runners scored on a single by Luis Alen.

In the eighth, the Goldeyes took a 6-4 lead as Alen walked and scored on a double by Gabby Martinez. Josh Mazzola reached first on a dropped third strike as Martinez went to third. Martinez scored on a single by Kyle Day and Mazzola went to third. Mazzola scored on a passed ball and the Goldeyes had enough to win their fifth straight game.

Kyle Day drove in the game-winning run for the third straight game.

Reliever Zach Baldwin (1-1, 7.84 ERA) got the win while Dexter Carter (2.42 ERA) picked up his fifth save by throwing a scoreless ninth. Wingnuts reliever Edgar Martinez (0-1, 9.00 ERA) suffered the loss.

“Dexter has really blossomed in the role as the closer,” said Pulsipher. “The extra intensity he’s getting by throwing the final inning with all that pressure has been good for Dexter and he’s really using this opportunity to his advantage.”

The Goldeyes and Wingnuts will play the final game of this three-game series in Wichita this afternoon. Game time is 2:05 p.m. and it can be heard live on TSN 1290 with Paul Edmonds, starting with 55 with Forney at 12:30 p.m.

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