In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps the exciting games around the American Association on Monday, including a big 4-3 victory by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the 11th inning, ruining the first home run hit by Rafael Palmeiro. The St. Paul Saints won their home opener, and the Winnipeg Goldeyes evened their record.
RedHawks McNutt Strikes out 12 in 4-3 Victory
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks moved to 3-1 on the season, thanks to a triple by Brennan Metzger with two outs in the 11th inning, as the RedHawks downed the Cleburne Railroaders, 4-3. Trey McNutt had a career night on the hill for Fargo-Moorhead, striking out 12. The loss ruined a powerful night from Cleburne, who hit two homeruns including the first by Rafael Palmeiro.
The Railroaders jumped out to a 2-0 lead with solo runs in each of the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, KC Huth started off the inning with a single, and moved to third on consecutive ground outs. He would score on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the second, Cameron Monger extended the lead to two with his first home run of the season, a solo shot with two down.
In the fourth, the RedHawks battled back to tie the score. Dylan Mouzakes retired the first two batters of the inning, but Randolph Oduber, Tommy Mendonca, and Charlie Valerio kept the inning alive with back-to-back-to-back singles. With the bases loaded and two down, a wild pitch scored Oduber and Mendonca came home when the throw by the catcher was wild, allowing him to score.
In the bottom of the fifth, Cleburne would get right back on top. Rafael Palmeiro led off the inning with his first home run of the season, giving the Railroaders a 3-2 lead.
It would stay that way until the eighth inning, when Fargo-Moorhead would rally to tie the score. Back-to-back walks to Brennan Metzger and Keury De La Cruz started the inning, and both runners moved up on a sacrifice by Oduber. Mendonca then grounded out the short, sending Metzger home to tie the score at three.
The game remained tied heading into extra frames, where the RedHawks would grab the victory in the 11th. Maikol Gonzalez singled with one out, but Shawn Blackwell was able to retire the next batter. That brought Metzger to the plate, who laced a ball to the wall. Gonzalez came all the way around to score with Metzger sliding into third with a triple.
In the bottom of the 11th, Randy McCurry came on for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks looking to close out the game. He retired all three batters he faced for his second save of the season, securing the 4-3 victory.
The RedHawks pitching staff struck out 17 batters, including 12 by Trey McNutt in his 7 innings of work. Travis Ballew (1-0) earned the victory. The Railroaders staff struck out 11 RedHawks batters.
Shane Dawson Pens AirHogs, 3-2
There has been a lot of talk about the vaunted four in the starting rotation for the Winnipeg Goldeyes, but Shane Dawson made it clear on Monday night that the talk should be about a fab five, as the left-hander allowed two runs while striking out seven in his debut, downing the Texas AirHogs, 3-2. All five runs of this contest were scored in the first two innings. Winnipeg got a run in the top half the first, with Texas responding with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Goldeyes retook the lead in the top of the second, thanks to a two run single by Victor Cruzado. From there it was all Dawson, who went 6.2-innings to earn his first victory of the year. Victor Capellan closed out the game for his second save of the season.
Max Murphy Helps Lead Saints to Victory in Home Opener, 6-4
For four innings on Monday afternoon, the St. Paul Saints were being completely dominated by the Chicago Dogs Connor Root, but they mounted a huge rally in the fifth, scoring five runs, three of which came off the bat of Max Murphy, as the Saints won their home opener, 6-4. St. Paul trailed 1-0 heading into the fifth, but would take the lead on a two run single by Dante Bichette, Jr. They would later load the bases with two down for Murphy, who lined a double off the wall in right field. All three runners came around to score. Matt Solter (1-0) pitched well in his first start for St. Paul, and Tom Wilhelmsen earned his first save of the season.
By Robert Pannier