FARGO, ND – Keury De La Cruz reached base five times and notched four hits to carry the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to a 5-3 win over the Lincoln Saltdogs on Friday night.
The home-opening win for the RedHawks (4-3) ended the Saltdogs (4-4) four-game winning streak.
The Saltdogs continued their hot offense from the previous homestand in the first couple innings. Chase Simpson tripled home the first run of the game in the first inning.
The Redhawks pulled even in the bottom of the first. Brennan Metzger drew the first of his three walks and came home on a De La Cruz double. The two-bagger was the first hit surrendered this season by Saltdogs starter Mike Tamburino.
Nathaniel Maggio gave the lead right back to Lincon in the second inning. The lefty rifled a line drive home run over the right field fence to make it 2-1. With the run, the Saltdogs had scored in five straight innings dating back to the previous game.
The back-and-forth affair continued into the bottom of the fifth. The RedHawks plated two runs on three hits and three stolen bases to make it 3-2.
The Saltdogs were ready to answer back. Chad Hinshaw smoked a triple off the center field fence to start the sixth. That chased starter D.J. Brown from the game and Brant Whiting was able to send Hinshaw home on a sacrifice fly off the relief pitcher to tie the game.
Then, Fargo grabbed the lead for good in the seventh. De La Cruz reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on an error. Lincoln intentionally walked former Saltdog Tommy Mendonca to get to Charlie Valerio and the RedHawks’ catcher lined a double to knock in the run that made it 4-3.
De La Cruz came through one more time in the eighth. He tallied a two-out single to score Maikol Gonzalez and give the RedHawks a two-run cushion.
Travis Ballew earned the win for Fargo while Jose Jose was charged with the loss for Lincoln. Tamburino gave up three runs over five innings in his first start since tossing 6.1 no-hit innings.
The Saltdogs left eight runners on base in the first four innings and 10 in the game. Hinshaw and newcomer Omar Obregon each had multi-hit games.
The Saltdogs and RedHawks square off in game two of the series on Saturday. First pitch is at 6:00 PM with coverage beginning at 5:30 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com.