Kelly, RedHawks Jump on Holmberg, Down Milkmen, 14-4
FARGO, N.D. – After dropping six of their first seven games to the North Division-leading Milwaukee Milkmen this season, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks finally put everything into place Friday night on their way to a 14-4 win in front of a season-high 3,831 fans at Newman Outdoor Field. The RedHawks had eight extra-base hits, struck out 12 batters, and got another highlight-reel catch from center fielder Will Zimmerman in the win. The RedHawks did their damage without any huge individual performances — only Kevin Krause and Sam Dexter had more than one hit in the game
Fargo-Moorhead did their damage early against Milwaukee starter David Holmberg (5-3), scoring seven runs in the second inning, the third most runs they’ve scored in an inning in 2021. It was the fifth straight game that the RedHawks have scored five or more runs in an inning. The RedHawks then tacked on a tidy four more runs in the seventh inning on only one hit — capitalizing on three walks, five wild pitches, and a hit by pitch. Nick Novak hit his first professional home run to deep right-center field after coming on as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
RedHawks’ starter Brent Jones (2-3) got the win after pitching five innings and only allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. RHP Alex DuBord (2-0) came on in relief in the sixth inning and struck out five batters in two innings. DuBord gave up one run on an Adam Brett Walker II home run in the seventh inning. RHP Michael Hope (4-1) and LHP Mark Finkelnburg (0-0) pitched the final two innings and combined to strike out three without allowing a baserunner.
Adam Brett Walker II, the American Association’s home run leader, led the way for Milwaukee with two solo shots that could not be contained by Newman Outdoor Field’s fences. Walker was 3-for-4 and was one of only two Milkmen batters (Aaron Hill, 2-for-2) with more than one hit. He has 18 home runs so far in 2021.
Milkmen starting pitcher David Holmberg (5-3) was forced out of the game after only two innings pitched. Holmberg gave up seven runs in the second inning and got the loss. RHP Nate Pawelczyk (0-0) came in and pitched three innings, striking out three but allowing two runs on two hits and two walks. Right-handed pitchers Ryan Dunne (0-0) and Nate Hadley (1-0) pitched the final three innings. Every Milkmen pitcher gave up at least one run and one hit in the loss.
With the win, the RedHawks pick up a game on the North Division-leading Milkmen. Fargo-Moorhead sits two games behind Milwaukee and one half game behind the Chicago Dogs, who also won on Friday night, for the second playoff spot in the North Division.
The RedHawks and Milkmen will continue their series with a 6 p.m. game Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field. Fargo-Moorhead is expected to start RHP Gage Hinsz (3-2, 7.11 ERA) while Milwaukee is expected to start RHP Matt Solter (1-3, 3.64 ERA). The first 1,000 fans at Saturday night’s game will receive a Joe Mathis bobblehead, the third of four in the 25th anniversary series, presented by Bell Bank Mortgage.
By Chad Ekren, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks