Starting pitching dominated until a fateful eighth inning Sunday afternoon, and the Winnipeg Goldeyes won 8-2 against the Sioux Falls Pheasants at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Cory Morales singled in the Pheasants’ first run in the first inning, but Winnipeg tied the game in the fourth and took the lead on Price Kendall’s RBI single in the fifth for a 2-1 advantage.
Starters for both teams were strong, as a pitcher’s duel ensued late into the game.
Matt Rusch (6-2) threw eight innings for the Goldeyes, allowing only one run on seven hits. He walked three but struck out two to earn the win.
Pheasants’ starter Alan DeRatt (3-5) held the red-hot Goldeyes batting lineup to two runs on six hits through seven innings, before getting into trouble in the eighth inning.
“His performance was really good,” said Pheasants manager Steve Shirley. “His pitching line won’t show it, but he gave us every opportunity to win that game.”
Winnipeg loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning and DeRatt exited. Winnipeg then jumped out to a big lead. The Goldeyes scored six runs, highlighted by Amos Ramon’s three-run home run, to take an 8-1 advantage.
Overall, DeRatt allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits in seven-plus innings. He also walked one, but struck out four in the loss.
“Our bullpen is thin, and these guys put in a great effort,” said DeRatt, who was replaced by Dusty Gober in the eighth inning. “Dusty threw a lot of innings last night and came in there and battled. He threw some great pitches down in the zone, but they stuck a barrel out there and got on base.”
Sioux Falls rallied with two-outs in the ninth inning. Trevor Lawhorn’s RBI single closed the gap to 8-2, but the Pheasants couldn’t climb all the way back.
Joe Anthonsen, Al Quintana and Lawhorn each had two hits for the Pheasants (29-32), who fell to three games under .500 for the first time in 2012.
After a day off on Monday, the Pheasants travel to Fargo for a three-game series that begins at 7:02 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24.
Courtesy: Scott Beatty, Pheasants