Fifteen hits by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks line-up and stellar pitching by Brian Ernst helped Fargo-Moorhead snap a franchise-worst eight-game home losing streak with a 12-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries in Fargo, ND on Friday evening.
The RedHawks put themselves ahead to a 2-0 score in the bottom of the first inning. Zach Penprase opened the game with a single to left. C.J. Retherford plated Penprase with his RBI single. With two outs, Petey Paramore reached on an error that allowed Retherford to cross home.
The Birds did not hesitate and answered the ‘Hawks’ lead with two runs of their own. First run in for Sioux Falls was Carlos Mendez, who walked, and got home on back-to-back singles by Chris Valencia and Stephen Branca, with Branca getting the RBI. Valencia then scored the second run, when he and Branca executed a double steal.
In the bottom of the fourth the RedHawks broke the tie, scoring three. Erik Castro and Petey Paramore both singled, and Brandon Tripp belted a three-run homer into the deepest part of the ballpark in the left center field.
The 3,908 spectators in attendance saw the home team extend their lead by one more run in the very next inning. Sawyer Carroll walked and scored in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single courtesy of Castro.
The RedHawks took the game out of the Sioux Falls’ reach in the bottom of the seventh. Another set of back-to-back-to-back hits and a sacrifice fly resulted in an additional of three runs coming home safely. Tripp and Dusty Robinson both singled. Anthony Kaskadden sent two home with his double on the left field line, and Carroll’s sacrifice fly scored Kaskadden to make it 9-2 RedHawks.
With the Canaries unable to answer in any way, Fargo-Moorhead kept on plowing away. Nic Jackson took a pitch to hit right side of the ribs, and later would score on a hit from Tripp, his third hit of the evening.
The Canaries were able to score one last time, doing so in the top of the eighth inning. Substituting Ty Forney reached on Retherford’s throwing error, and would eventually come around to score thanks to A.J. Kirby-Jones, lowering the RedHawks’ lead to seven runs.
The RedHawks, however, answered that run and added one more in the bottom of the eight frame. Kaskadden found a gap in the right field, and Penprase reached on an error. With one man out, Retherford drilled a double to right field as well, for an RBI of his own. The eleventh and last run of the ballgame was Penprase getting home safely on a 3-1 putout by Nic Jackson.
At the plate, the RedHawks were led by Erik Castro and Brandon Tripp. Castro went 4-for-4 in the ballgame with one RBI, and Tripp was 3-for-4 with a three run home run, and four RBIs on the evening.
Brian Ernst pitched eight solid innings earning the win (5-4), while Ben Moore suffered the loss (4-5) with eight earned runs given up. The second game of the series is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.