FARGO, ND – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (15-10) capitalized on three Lincoln Saltdogs (14-9) errors to win 5-4 and snap the Saltdogs six-game winning streak.
Right-handed pitcher Ben McKendall made his pro debut for the Saltdogs on Monday night and lasted four innings while being charged with the loss. The Bellevue University product allowed three unearned runs on two hits on the night. He issued six walks compared to two strikeouts. The runs were scored as unearned because of an error on shortstop Ivan Marin.
The Saltdogs scored first in the game, though. Brandon Jacobs, Cesar Valera and Curt Smith combined to tally three straight hits in the first inning. Smith’s double scored Jacobs to make it 1-0.
The ‘Dogs added to the lead in the third inning. Jacobs led off with a double but was putout on a fielder’s choice of the bat of Valera. Valera moved to second base on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Smith.
The RedHawks took the lead in the fourth inning. K.D Kang drew a walk to start the frame and advanced to second when Ryan Pineda reached on the Marin error. Then, Kes Carter walked to load the bases. Charlie Valerio and Yhoxian Medina followed with ground ball outs that scored two runs. Devan Ahart tripled to score Carter to make it 3-2 in favor of Fargo.
The home team continued to score in the bottom of the 5th inning. Kang drew a walk from reliever Fabio Martinez and Pineda followed with a single. Then, an error by first baseman Tommy Mendonca let Carter reach and sent Kang in to score. Pineda and Carter executed a double steal in the next at bat and Saltdogs catcher Brent Dean threw the ball past the third baseman to allow Pineda to score.
The Saltdogs relievers didn’t allow a run after Fargo extended the lead to 5-2. Martinez pitched a scoreless inning and Dimitri Kourtis and Leuris Gomez each worked scoreless frames.
The Saltdogs started a comeback in the seventh inning. Randolph Oduber singled and moved to third base on a Jacobs double. After a pitching change, Valera hit a sacrifice fly to score Oduber. Mendonca launched a two-out single to plate Jacobs and make it 5-4.
The Saltdogs got the tying run on base in the eighth and ninth innings but could not get the runner home. Casey Weathers earned his fifth save for the RedHawks.
The Saltdogs committed a season-high three errors and walked a season-high nine batters.
The two teams battle in the second game of the four game series on Tuesday night. First pitch is at 7:02 PM and coverage begins at 6:30 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
The Saltdogs return to Lincoln on Friday to face the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.