Tomshaw leads RedHawks past Milkmen
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Matt Tomshaw gave up only three hits in 7.2 innings pitched on Wednesday night against Milwaukee (59-41, North Division No. 3 Seed) to lead the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (68-31, North Division No. 2 Seed) to a comfortable 5-0 win over the Milkmen in the American Association North Division Wild Card Game at Newman Outdoor Field. A crowd of 1,180 was on hand to watch the RedHawks pick up their first playoff win since 2019 and become the first team in American Association history to win a Wild Card Game after the league changed its playoff structure for 2021.
With the win, Fargo-Moorhead advances to play the No. 1 seeded Chicago Dogs in the best-of-five North Division Championship Series beginning on Friday, Sept. 8. The NDCS will begin at Impact Field in Rosemont, Ill. and return to Fargo for Game 3 on Monday, Sept. 13. First pitch for Game 1 on Friday night is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Rosemont, with Game 2 scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Games 4 and 5 will be played at Newman Outdoor Field if necessary.
After walking two batters in the first inning, Tomshaw (1-0, 0.00 ERA) did not allow another free pass in the game. He struck out five in the contest and at one point retired 13 straight Milkmen batters. Tomshaw picked up his first playoff win with the RedHawks on Wednesday after Fargo-Moorhead missed the playoffs in the shortened 2020 season.
Ryan Flores came on in relief of Tomshaw in the eighth inning, and he ruined any chance of a Milkmen comeback bid by retiring the first four batters he faced to seal the victory. Flores, who had four saves for the RedHawks before earning a starting role midway through the season, induced three groundouts and struck out one batter in 1.1 innings pitched.
All the offense came early for Fargo-Moorhead, with the RedHawks batting around, scoring five runs in the first inning off of Milwaukee starter David Holmberg (0-1, 135.14 ERA), and forcing the Milkmen to go to their bullpen after just one out in the opening frame.
Correlle Prime and Manny Boscan led off with singles, and Jordan George got the scoring started with an RBI double down the left field line. After an RBI groundout from Kevin Krause scored Boscan, Dylan Kelly singled and Leo Pina brought in a run with a single through the left side of the infield to make it 3-0 RedHawks and chase Holmberg from the game. John Silviano and Alex Boxwell each brought another run in to give Fargo-Moorhead a 5-0 lead after the first.
Fargo-Moorhead will make its first NDCS appearance since 2019, when the RedHawks fell to the eventual American Association champion St. Paul Saints three games to two. The RedHawks will look to win their first series as members of the American Association against Chicago.
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