Ward, RedHawks Soar over Goldeyes, Win Sixth Straight
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks continue to soar, winning their sixth straight game as they defeated the Winnipeg Goldeyes, 12-5. Drew Ward homered and drove in five and Dylan Kelly hit his second homerun in as many nights to lead the offense. Tyler Pike was solid in winning his second game of the year. For the Goldeyes, it was their eighth straight loss.
Trying to snap the skid, the Goldeyes needed a fast start and they got it when Darnell Sweeney blasted his 11th homer of the season with one down in the bottom of the first. That gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead.
However, in the top of the second, the RedHawks rallied for six to take control of this game and they never looked back. Leobaldo Pina walked to start the inning and Christian Ibarra followed with a walk to put two on with no one out. Two batters later, Sam Dexter lined a double into the gap, easily scoring Pina. Next up was Alex Boxwell, who drilled a double to the wall. Both runners came home, and Fargo-Moorhead was on top, 3-1. A walk to Brennan Metzger and a fielder’s choice put runners at the corner for Ward. He drilled the third pitch of the at-bat down the line for a three-run shot, his 13th homer of the year, giving the RedHawks a 6-1 lead.
An inning later, Fargo-Moorhead extended their lead to six. Following the formula from the second inning, Pina singled and Ibarra reached when he was hit by a pitch. After Kelly walked, Dexter hit into a double-play, bringing home Pina to make it 7-1.
In the fifth, Fargo-Moorhead blew the game open. Pina singled with one down but was thrown out trying steal second and it looked like Goldeyes starter Kevin Hilton would get out of the inning untouched. However, Ibarra kept the inning alive with a drive to the alley that bounced and hopped the fence for a ground rule double. That brought Kelly to the plate, who drilled a two-run homer, his fourth of the year. Dexter then drew a walk and Boxwell followed with a single to put two on for Metzger. He grounded a single up the middle to bring home Dexter. After Nick Kahle walked, Ward completed the scoring with a single, plating two. That made it 12-1.
After giving up the first inning homer, Pike pitched extremely well. He gave up a leadoff double in the second and walk to put two on with no one out but struck out the next two hitters before getting a fly out to end the inning. That started a run of retiring 11 of the next 13 hitters, with two walks the only blemishes against him.
In the sixth, Winnipeg finally ended the run. Nick Oddo singled with one down and Dario Pizzano walked to put two on with one down. Kevin Lachance and Eric Wood followed with back-to-back RBI singles to cut the deficit to nine.
The Goldeyes added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Jonathan Moroney delivered a two-out single that plated both Logan Hill and Lachance. That cut the deficit to 12-5, but Winnipeg got no closer.
Pike (2-5) went 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits, four walks, and three earned runs. He struck out seven.
Ward was 2-5 with a run scored and five RBI. Dexter, Pina, and Boxwell each had two hits and scored two runs. Boxwell drove in two.
By Robert Pannier