RedHawks Rally in Opener to Earn Double-Header Split
By Chad Miller, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
FARGO, North Dakota – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks split a doubleheader with the Lincoln Saltdogs within the friendly confines of Newman Outdoor Field on a warm Tuesday night.
Game One – RedHawks 3, Saltdogs 2
Game one saw the resumption and conclusion of June 4 game which was suspended due to rain causing poor playing conditions. Pre-suspension, there was little offense to speak of as RedHawks’ southpaw Tyler Grauer and Saltdogs’ quick-paced starter Abdallah Aris limited offenses to just six base runners and no runs through three innings.
Post resumption saw the first runs of the game scored early as Lincoln utilized a walk and two extra base hits to score two runs in the top of the fourth inning. That was all as RedHawks pitchers Colten Davis and Reza Aleaziz faced six batters above the minimum the rest of the way on the way to the win.
Fargo-Moorhead scored all of their runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as Evan Alexander reached first via a hit-by-pitch and eventually stole second in the ensuing at-bat. Manny Boscan singled into right field and advanced to second as the Saltdogs’ right fielder threw out Alexander at the plate. Dillon Thomas followed with a double to right-center to score Boscan to cut the lead down to one. It is then when Leo Pina stepped to the plate and on a 3-1 count, blasted a ball over the left field wall for a go-ahead two-run home run and eventual victory as Aleaziz collected the save in the top of the ninth.
Game Two – Saltdogs 5, RedHawks 3
After game one’s warmup, the bats for both teams came out swinging to start game two off. Lincoln took advantage of four walks to score the game’s opening salvo in the top of the first. In the ensuing half inning, Dillon Thomas led off with a double to left field. After a wild pitch moved the runner to third, Leo Pina hit his second longball of the day over the left field wall to allow Fargo-Moorhead to jump ahead 2-1.
Following the first inning, both starters settled in as Saltdogs’ starter David Holmberg and RedHawks’ starter Trey Cumbie allowed two hits and a walk combined through the following three innings. The book closed on Cumbie pitching 4.1 innings, allowing three runs off two hits and seven walks while striking out two batters.
Both teams traded blows with one another as Lincoln scored two runs off an RBI-single in the top of the fifth. Manny Boscan responded on behalf of Fargo-Moorhead with a lead off solo home run to tie the game. The RedHawks were able to threaten in the bottom of the seventh by getting a runner to second base in an effort to walk it off. But a strikeout ended the threat and forced the game into extras.
After a three-run effort in the top of the eighth inning by the ‘Dogs, the ‘Hawks were in a hole in the bottom of the inning that they would try to get out as Boscan singled to right field after a lead off strikeout. Evan Alexander was hit by a pitch in the ensuing at-bat and with the extra innings baserunner rule, Fargo-Moorhead found themselves with the bases loaded and one out. Correlle Prime managed to outrun a groundball double play attempt which scored two runs as the turn overthrew the first baseman. However, it would all be for naught as the next at-bat resulted in a strikeout and the game’s end.
With the split, the RedHawks find themselves sitting a half game out of the last playoff spot in the AAPB West Division race with a 39-42 record. Fargo-Moorhead will get the chance at redemption when they face off with Lincoln in game two of the scheduled three game series on Wednesday, August 16. Gates at Newman Outdoor Field will open at 6:00 p.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 7:02 p.m.