RedHawks Rally to Win Miles Wolff Cup, Pina Named MVP
Featured Image Courtesy of Jennifer Andreachi, Field Dreams Photography
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier recaps the Game 5 of the American Association Championship series, as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks rally to down the Milwaukee Milkmen to win the Miles Wolff Cup.
Kevin Luckow and Rob Pannier recap Game 5 in the American Association Championship Series on This Week in the Association.
Game Recaps for Thursday
RedHawks Rally to Win American Association Championship
A walk-off single by Leobaldo Pina in the 10th inning drove home Christian Correa with the winning run as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks defeated the Milwaukee Milkmen, 9-8. That gave Fargo-Moorhead the decisive Game 5, winning the Miles Wolff Cup trophy. Pina was named the MVP.
This was slated to be a great pitching match between two aces, but neither RedHawks lefty Kevin McGovern nor Milwaukee right-hander A.J. Schugel would make it past the fourth. The Milkmen jumped out in front in the top of the first when Bryan Torres led off with a hard ground ball to second that Peter Maris knocked down but could not make a play. That brought Logan Trowbridge to the plate, who grounded a ball to Maris that he bobbled, allowing Trowbridge to reach. Miguel Gomez hit into a double-play, putting Torres at third. That brought Keon Barnum to the plate, who singled into left-center to make it 1-0 Milkmen.
In the second, Fargo-Moorhead took the lead. With one down, Sam Dexter ripped a ball down the left field line that he legged out for a triple. That brought Evan Alexander to the plate, who ripped a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall to make it 2-1.
Milwaukee tied the score in the top of the third, chasing McGovern from the game. Torres and Trowbridge led off with back-to-back singles. That would be it for the lefty. Davis Feldman came on and gave up a sacrifice fly to Gomez that tied the score.
Fargo-Moorhead retook the lead in the fourth. Dexter led off with a double and moved to third on a base-hit by Alexander. Nick Novak then hit a sacrifice fly to center that brought home Dexter to make it 3-2.
The RedHawks held the one-run lead into the sixth where the Milkmen exploded for six runs. Barnum led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Joe Jones came on to relieve and Barnum alertly noted that no one was covering third. He scampered for third on the stolen base attempt, shocking Jones who threw wildly to the bag. That allowed Barnum to score to tie the game. Hector Sanchez then ripped a solo homer to put Milwaukee on top. Jones was clearly rattled, walking the next two batters before his night was over. Reid Birlingmair came on and got Jeremiah Burks to fly out for the second out, but Torres followed with a single that scored Carl Chester. Next up was Trowbridge, who doubled down the line, scoring Aaron Hill while sending Torres to third. Gomez followed with a base hit, scoring both runners, to put the Milkmen on top, 8-3.
The game looked like it was in hand for Milwaukee, but Fargo-Moorhead rallied for five in the seventh to tie the score. It was three errors in the inning that helped the RedHawks rally. With one down, Peter Maris and Drew Ward delivered back-to-back singles. Pina then hit a ball to the second baseman, who threw to Burks at short, but he dropped the ball, loading the bases with one down. After Manuel Boscan flew out, Alec Olund walked to drive home a run. That brought Dexter to the plate, who grounded a ball down to Burks. His throw to first was wild, allowing two more runners to score. Alexander then grounded to Gomez, whose throw was late and wide, allowing two more runs to score to tie the game at eight.
Rodrigo Benoit and Alex DuBord were both great. Benoit got the final out of the seventh and tossed two more scoreless frames for Milwaukee. DuBord came on for Fargo-Moorhead in the eighth and tossed three hitless, scoreless innings.
In the 10th, Frankie Bartow came on. He walked Christian Correa to start the inning, then gave up a base hit to Maris. Ward then lined a ball right to Burks for the first out. That brought Pina to the plate, who drilled a 1-1 pitch up the middle scoring Correa with the winning run.
Dexter and Alexander each had three hits. Alexander drove in three. Torres and Trowbridge each had three hits for Milwaukee. Leobaldo Pina was named the playoff MVP. Besides delivering the series winning hit, Pina hit .347 with seven runs scored and six RBI in 11 games. Pina had at least one hit in every game of the playoffs.
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Bryan Torres (Milwaukee Milkmen) 3-5, 3 R, RBI, BB
No. 2 – Alex DuBord (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks) 3.0 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 0 ER, 2 K
No. 1 – Leobaldo Pina (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks) 2-6, R, RBI
American Association Daily Notes
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks won their first American Association championship. The team had won five titles in the old Northern League.
By Robert Pannier