Walker Blast Helps Power Milkmen to Victory, 10-6
After falling just short on Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Milkmen left no doubt in this contest, riding a six-run fifth-inning on their way to a 10-6 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Adam Walker blasted a three-run homer in the decisive frame to help power the team, supporting starter Angel Ventura, who won his second game of the year. The Milkmen pounded out 19-hits to set a club record.
After a scoreless first inning, Milwaukee jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to single runs in the second and third innings. In the second, Brett Vertigan drove home Zach Nehrir to put the Milkmen up 1-0. An inning later, Walker plated David Washington with a sacrifice fly.
That lead held until the fifth when the Milkmen blew this game open. With one down, Washington lined a single into right and Aaron Hill followed with a base hit. That brought Walker to the plate, who crushed his American Association lead tying third homer of the season to extend the lead to five. Milwaukee was not done, however. Nehrir and Christ Conley followed with back-to-back singles and that would be it for Matt Tomshaw.
Jake Cosart came on looking to close the door, but he was greeted by a Logan Trowbridge single that brought home Nehrir. A walk to Vertigan loaded the bases for Dylan Tice, who also drew a walk to drive home Conley. Trowbridge scored when Mason Davis was hit by a pitch and this game looked like it was going to get really ugly, but Cosart settled down, striking out Washington and Hill to end the inning. The damage was done, however. Milwaukee had scored six-runs on six-hits.
With an 8-0 lead, it looked like this game was over. Milwaukee starter Angel Ventura had allowed lone hits in each of the first three innings but retired the side in order in the fourth. He had not yielded a run, and the RedHawks seemed to have no answers for the big right-hander. That changed in the fifth, when they finally broke through. Drew Ward led off the inning with his second homer of the year to give Fargo-Moorhead a little life.
Both teams scored a run in the sixth. Nehrir came home for the third time in the game on a single by Trowbridge, one of his four hits on the evening. Ward drove home Correlle Prime with a double to keep Fargo-Moorhead within seven.
In the seventh, the RedHawks started chipping away at the lead. A single by Dylan Kelly and a walk to Brennan Metzger started the frame. That would be it for Ventura. The Milkmen starter (2-1) went 6.0 innings, allowing nine hits and a walk, while striking out three.
Zach Hartman came on and retired Trey Hair, but Prime singled to score Kelly before Blake Grant-Parks singled to drive home Metzger. With two on and one down, Fargo-Moorhead had a chance to cut the deficit even further, but Hartman was able to induce a double-play to end the threat.
Vertigan got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth when he singled to bring home Conley. The RedHawks responded right away in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two more. With two down, Christian Ibarra doubled and he scored on a Kelly single. Kelly moved to third on a single by Metzger and scored on a hit by Hair. That made it 10-6, but the RedHawks could get no closer.
For Milwaukee, Walker finished with four RBI. Nehrir had three hits and scored three runs, and Trowbridge had four hits and drove in a pair. Ward had two hits and two RBI for Fargo-Moorhead. Hair and Kelly each had three hits.
By Robert Pannier