Pilot Dominates as RedHawks Clinch Playoff Berth
By Chad Miller, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
ARGO, North Dakota— The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are playoff bound thanks to a pitching gem from Kelvan Pilot and three RBI off the bat of Dillon Thomas against the Winnipeg Goldeyes on a warm Firework Friday night at Newman Outdoor Field.
Offense started early in the first third of the game as Dillon Thomas was responsible for both runs scored. In the bottom of the first, he crushed a home run over the right field wall for the game’s opening salvo and in the bottom of the third, he sliced a single to right-center field to score Alec Olund who reached base via a double in the prior at-bat.
Fargo-Moorhead’s starter Kelvan Pilot was almost light’s out as he dealt through seven innings, including carrying perfection through the first four. However, the right-hander faced a bit of adversity as his pitch count trickled over triple digits in the top of the eighth inning. Winnipeg’s lead-off hitter drew a walk which put him in position for their next batter to double down the left field line to score their first run and end Pilot’s night. The book closed on him pitching 7.0 innings, allowing three hits and a walk which resulted in two runs while striking out six Goldeyes.
The RedHawks immediately responded in the ensuing half inning as Scott Schreiber led off by crushing a homerun over the left-center wall to reclaim the lead. Sam Dexter doubled in the ensuing at-bat to put himself in position for Thomas’ third RBI of the night with a double off the left field wall to bring the game to its final score of 4-2 after Reza Aleaziz used seven pitches to collect the save.
With the win, Fargo-Moorhead rise to a 49-48 record and clinch the final playoff spot in the AAPB West Division Playoffs. However, the playoff field is not set as the RedHawks are still in contention for any of the final three seeds. Game two of the weekend series against the Goldeyes will take place on Saturday, September 2 with gates scheduled to open at 5 p.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.