Following a tough three-game sweep at the hands of the Winnipeg Goldeyes, the Salina Stockade travelled to Kansas City to play a neutral site double-header against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks looking to get back in the win column. Thanks to Josh Mazzola that goal proved to be far from the case, as Mazzola homered in both contests, hitting three home runs in all, and the RedHawks swept the double-header, 6-3, 7-3.
In Game 1, Fargo-Moorhead grabbed the lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Derrick Fox walked to start the inning. Brian Smith retired the next two hitters before hitting Mazzola to put two on with two down. That brought K.D. Kang, who lined a single to center to score Mazzola and it was 1-0.
In the second, the lead would move to two. Once again it was the big two-out hit that gave Fargo-Moorhead another run. Smith retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Ryan Pineda drilled his second home run of the season to make it 2-0.
After Cesilio Pimentel had retired the Stockade in order in the first two innings, they would grab the lead against the lefty. Like his counterpart, Pimentel was able to get the first two batters of the inning out, but he could not stop the two-out rally. CJ Epperson got it started with a double, and Aaron Olivas followed with a single that moved Epperson to third. Jimmy Heck then delivered a base hit that scored Heck, and Daniel Aldrich gave his team the lead with a two-run double to the wall in center to make it 3-2 Salina.
The lead would not hold, however, as the RedHawks plated four in the bottom half of the inning. With one down, Mitch Delfino singled to center, and Mazzola followed with his first homer of the season, a two-run blast that put Fargo back in front. Two batters later, Jesus Posso kept the inning alive with a base hit, and Kes Carter followed the single with a two-run homer, his first homer of the year. That gave the RedHawks five-runs scored with two-outs.
Josh Mazzola finished 1-2 with a run and 2-RBI. Jesus Posso was 2-3 with a run and Carter was 1-3 with a run and 2-RBI.
In Game 2, Salina jumped out in front with a run in the top of the first inning. Heck walked with one down and moved to third on a base hit by Aldrich. He scored when Jordan Caillouet hit into a fielder’s choice and it was 1-0 Stockade.
The lead was short-lived however, as Fargo put up two in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. With one down, Delifno blasted his second homer of the season. Two batters later, Mazzola gave his team the lead with his second home run of the year and it was 2-1 RedHawks.
It would stay that way until the third when Fargo would extend their lead to four. Tyler Urps started the inning with a double and moved to third on a base hit by Derrick Fox. Fox stole second and Urps scored on a ground out by Delfino. That brought Mazzola to the plate, who drilled his third homer of the day to move the lead to 5-1.
Salina responded with a run in the top of the fourth. Logan Trowbridge reached on an error before Roche Woodard doubled to move him to third. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brad Cuyos to make it 5-2.
The RedHawks did a little responding of their own in the bottom half of the inning. With one down, Pineda homered for the second straight game and the lead was back to four.
In the fifth, that lead would be five. Chris Cummins retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Kang doubled to keep the inning alive. Posso then ripped a single to center to score Kang and it was 7-2.
The Stockade plated one more run in the top of the sixth. Wil Dennis came on in relief, and retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Caillouet drilled his second homer of the year to make it 7-3. That would be the final.
Josh Mazzola was 2-3 with 2-runs, 2-homers and 3-RBI. Jesus Posso was 2-3 for the second straight game with an RBI. Roche Woodard finished 2-2 for Salina, and Jordan Caillouet finished 1-3 with a run, a homer, and 2-RBI.
These two teams will have an early afternoon affair tomorrow. First pitch is 1:00.
By Robert Pannier