VIPERS RALLY FOR WIN

The Calgary Vipers became the Cardiac Kids on Tuesday night, taking an 11 inning 6-5 win from the visiting Winnipeg Goldeyes.  The Vipers were able to win when Pedro Santana drove a pair of runs home in with 2 outs in the bottom half of the 11th inning to keep Calgary’s slim playoff hopes alive.  With the win, the Vipers are 3 and a half games back of the Gary-Southshore Railcats after they lost to St. Paul on Tuesday. 

It was Winnipeg who got on the board first when Harry Berrios hit his 9th homerun off of Calgary starter Doug Johnson in the 4th inning.  The solo shot to left center gave the Goldeyes a 1-0 lead before Calgary turned the tables in their half of the inning.  A Juan Thomas RBI double tied the game and Adam Shosher brought Thomas home 2 batters later to give the Vipers their first lead of the game.  

An inning later, Drew Miller and Thomas would drive home single runs to put Calgary up 4-1 heading to the 6th.  For Thomas, the pair of RBI upped his total to 67 on the year while Shorsher and Miller each saw their totals rise by one to 42 and 32 respectively.  But Winnipeg got back on even terms in the 6th getting RBI singles from Chad Meyers, Donnie Ross and Ralph Santana to tie the game at 4, which is where it would stay for quite some time.  

After Calgary came close to scoring in the bottom of the 9th, Winnipeg got the ball rolling their way in the 11th getting a 2 out RBI single from Daniel Quartararo to take a 5-4 lead.  After Shorsher and Sam Rosario walked in the home half of the inning, Pedro Santana would walk to the plate and quickly fall behind 0-2 before forcing a ball and fouling off Donnie Smith’s first 1-2 pitch.  His second deliver on the 1-2 count was crushed fair down the left field line to score Shorsher easily and brought home Rosario from 1st to give the Vipers the come from behind win.  For Santana, the double was good for his 36th and 37th RBI’s of the year.

Brad Rogers gets the win in relief for the Vipers improving his record to 6-5 this year.  The Goldeyes closer, Donnie Smith, gets hit with the loss dropping to 1-3 this year.  Both starting pitchers fail to pick up decisions, as Calgary’s Doug Johnson was relieved in the 6th.  Phil Sobkow left in the 8th inning for Winnipeg.  Southpaw Ben King was outstanding in 4 innings of long relief for Calgary, giving up just 1 hit while striking out 3.  J.P. Fauske pitched a perfect inning in the top of the 10th.

With Calgary and Winnipeg tied for second in the wildcard race, the 2 teams will get back at it on Wednesday night (7:05 pm, Foothills Stadium) with the Vipers sending Kevin Lee (1-7, 6.06 ERA) to the mound.  The Goldeyes counter with lefty P.J. Connelly (4-3, 4.41 ERA) in the middle set of a 3 game series.  With 5 games remaining, the magic number is 3 for the Gary-Soutshore Railcats to clinch the Northern League’s wildcard spot.  Gary has 2 games remaining with St. Paul before finishing the regular season against Joliet.  Calgary will play Kansas City starting on Friday while the Goldeyes round out the year in Edmonton playing a set with the Cracker-Cats.