Bennett Grand Slam Powers Dogs to Game 5 Showdown
By Jesus Mauricio
FARGO, North Dakota — The Dogs treated Game Four of the North Division Championship Series like a punching bag.
Following a stunning loss in game three the night before, the Dogs played with a vengeance. Christian Friedrich understood his assignment and delivered in the clutch with eight dominant innings, no walks and allowing one run, six hits with three strikeouts. After a heartbreak loss last night, the Dogs feasted with an 11-0 victory in Game Four. The Dogs’ comeback sets the table for the most important game in franchise history: Game Five of the NDCS with a berth in the American Association finals on the line.
The American Association is full of athletes who put their all on the field. And despite a knee injury, the hobbled Michael Crouse flared a ball to shallow left field to score Brennan Metzger early and give the Dogs a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Following three consecutive singles in the first, T.J. Bennett then demolished a statement, opposite-field grand slam for his 11th home run of the season. All but one of Bennett’s home runs have gone to the opposite field.
Later in the third inning, Anfernee Grier continued to be a persistent pain for the RedHawks. Grier utilized the power alley in left field to his advantage to leg a triple and score Bennett to give the Dogs a demanding 6-0 lead. Following a Lidge walk, Harrison Smith followed in Grier’s hot footsteps but settled with a double to bring him home.
The Dogs would keep their foot on the gas pedal in the middle innings of the game. Joey Terdoslavich and Danny Mars each hit deep solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Those homers capped the Dogs’ night with three total.
Then in the fifth, Brennan Metzger continued the surge with a sacrifice fly to score Grier and gave the Dogs a 10-0 lead.
The Dogs didn’t stop pouncing on the RedHawks in the sixth inning, when Bennett scored Danny Mars on an RBI single to send a message to Fargo-Moorhead with an 11-0 lead.
The RedHawks responded to start the eighth with a home run from Correlle Prime. But none of that mattered when Kyle Murphy entered the ninth and delivered a much-needed 1-2-3 inning to close the game.
Jordan Kipper will start Game Five at 6:30 p.m. from Fargo’s Newman Outdoor Field tomorrow night. A Dogs win would punch the franchise’s first-ever ticket to the American Association finals. The game will be broadcast live on the Chicago Dogs Radio Network starting at 6:20 p.m.