The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are needing a run to keep themselves in the North Division race in the American Association. Friday night they got 13 of them, eight of which came from Keury De La Cruz who had a career night as the RedHawks downed the Wichita Wingnuts 13-3. That moved Fargo-Moorhead to 4-4 and keeps them just 2.5 games behind the St. Paul Saints
This was a very tough start for Wichita as they found themselves trailing 12-0 just four innings into the game. The onslaught began in the bottom of the first when Chad Mozingo led off with a walk. Two batters later De La Cruz crushed an Eddie Medina pitch for his first home run of the season.
In the bottom of the second, the RedHawks would add five more runs. Ryan Wagner singled to get the inning underway and K.D. Kang reached on an error to move Wagner to second. A sacrifice hit moved both runners into scoring position and Mozingo, who has been struggling at the plate early on this season, singled to score Wagner. Pineda followed with a single that scored Kang and that brought De La Cruz to the plate again. He took a first pitch ball and then drilled his second home run of the game. The three-run shot moved the score to 7-0 and the route was on.
In the fourth, the RedHawks would add five more on the scoreboard. Medina retired the first hitter of the inning, but Mozingo singled again and Pineda walked to put two on with two outs. De La Cruz worked the count to 2-2, then fouled off a pitch to stay alive. He then drilled his third homer of the game to make it 10-0.
The RedHawks DH finished the day 4-5 with 4-runs scored, 8-RBI and 3-homers. That raised his average to .389. Surprisingly, these were his first eight RBI of the season.
Tyler Herron started for Fargo-Moorhead and he was dominant. The right-hander pitched six shutout innings, allowing 7-hits and a walk, while striking out 9. It was an impressive outing that gave him his first win of the season and moved his scoreless streak to 14.1 innings to start the year.
It took seven innings, but Wichita was finally able to get on the scoreboard in the seventh. A wild pitch brought home Christian Stringer to give the Wingnuts their first run of the game.
T.J. Mittelstaedt scored the first Wingnuts run on a single by Brennen Salgado. Stringer singled in Richard Prigatano for the second run.
In the bottom of the eighth Josh Mazzola added the final run for the RedHawks. His double scored De La Cruz to make it 13-2.
Four other Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks players had two hits, Mozingo, Mazzola, Brian Humphries, and Ryan Wagner. Mozingo scored three-runs. Cox and Brent Clevlen each had two hits for the Wichita Wingnuts.
These two teams continue their three-game series on Saturday. Game time is 6:00.
By Robert Pannier