Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Soar to Victory over Wingnuts, 7-3
Usually the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks have dreaded the Wichita Wingnuts coming to town, but the first two games of their series have seen the North Division team dominate, winning 13-3 last night and using a four-run fifth inning to take the second game 7-3. That moved the team a game above .500.
The Wingnuts have really been struggling and were looking for a big start out of veteran Charlie Leesman. The RedHawks had other ideas. In the bottom of the first Chad Mozingo walked and scored on a ground out by Kuery De La Cruz. That gave the home team the quick 1-0 lead.
Wichita responded right away against Taylor Stanton in the top of the second. Dustin Geiger started the inning with a double and moved to third on a ground out two batters later. With two outs and the team desperately needing a clutch hit, Harrison Kain singled to score Geiger and the game was tied.
It would stay that way into the fourth when T. J. Mittelstaedt homered to start the inning. It was his second homerun of the season.
Fargo-Moorhead would get it right back in the bottom of the inning. Josh Mazzola doubled with one out and scored on a single by Luke Bailey.
Tied at two in the fifth, Wichita would take the lead again. Back-to-back singles by Christian Stringer and Zack Cox got the inning started. Two batters later Gieger drew a walk to load the bases. Two batters later the team was looking for another big two-out hit and Richard Prigatano walked to drive in a run and make it a 3-2 Wingnuts lead.
Again, the lead would not last long. K.D. Kang started the Fargo-Moorhead fifth with a single and an error allowed Bryan Johns to reach and Kang to move to third. Two batters later Ryan Pineda walked and the bases were loaded with one out. That brought De La Cruz to the plate, who reached on an error, scoring both Kang and Johns.
Amazingly, De La Cruz entered the series with no RBI on the season, but after an 8-RBI performance Friday night, he now has 10. He added two more on Saturday.
A double by Brian Humphries would plate two more runs, and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks were up 6-3. Pineda and De La Cruz scored on the double.
The RedHawks would add one more run in the eighth. An error allowed Mazzola to reach to start the inning and Bailey moved him to second with a single. Ryan Wagner’s two-out hit drove home Mazzola to make it 7-3, and that was the final score.
Jose Almarante (1-0) earned the win in his first appearance for the RedHawks. Leesman (0-1) took the loss.
Christian Stringer had three hits and scored a run in a losing effort for the Wichita Wingnuts. Cox was 2-4 as was Brent Dean. Bailey and Kang each had two hits for Fargo-Moorhead.
These two teams will finish their three-game set tomorrow. Game time is 1:00.
By Robert Pannier