Streamed live on Jul 12, 2012
Amos Ramon thought Josh Mazzola hit a slider. Mazzola had no idea what it was.
Regardless, Mazzola took a pitch from St. Paul reliever Reid Mahon and launched it over the leftfield wall for a solo walk-off home run as the Winnipeg Goldeyes defeated the St. Paul Saints 5-4 at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
"I don't know what that pitch was," said Mazzola as Ramon yelled, "I think it was a slider."
"I had no idea," Mazzola continued. "It just didn't move. Whatever it was, I saw a big ball and took a big swing at it."
Thanks to Mazzola's two extra base hits and four RBI, the Goldeyes won their fifth straight game, improved to 31-20 on the season and remained in first place in the American Association's North Division. They also won the first game of a four-game weekend series with the Saints.
"Hitting a home run like that is always fun," said Mazzola. "And it's always good to win."
The Goldeyes opened the scoring on Thursday with four in the first as Price Kendall led off with a walk, Jon Weber singled, Yurendell de Caster walked to load the bases and then Kyle Day beat out an infield hit to score Kendall. That's when Mazzola delivered his first big hit of the night with a double that cleared the loaded bases. That gave Winnipeg a 4-0 lead and with Matt Rusch on the mound, there a reason to be confident.
But the Saints had other ideas. Miles Durham hit a two-run homer off Rusch in the second and then Jose Hernandez hit a solo blast in the third, to cut Winnipeg's lead to 4-3. But the Saints didn't tie it until Rusch was long gone.
In the ninth, Goldeyes closer Dexter Carter walked lead off man Tanner Townsend. Townsend stole second went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Carter wild pitch. One run on no hits and the game was tied.
But that's when Mazzola, who is now hitting .305 with eight homers and 31 runs batted in, produced his game-winning long fly.
Carter got the win (1-2, 3.62 ERA) for the Goldeyes while Mahon (3-5, 5.47 ERA) suffered the loss. There was no save.
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