AUGUSTA, NJ – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks were deadlocked in a pitcher’s duel for nine innings on Thursday morning, but nine was not enough. The RedHawks defeated Sussex County 3-2 in ten innings in front of 593 fans at Skylands Stadium.
Tyler Herron took the mound for Fargo-Moorhead in his 11th start of the season. Herron is no stranger to day games, as four of his last five starts have been in the afternoon.
Today’s game was a little different, as it started at 9:38 a.m. central time. Herron produced yet another quality start, going 7.2 innings, and giving up no runs on one hit with seven walks and six strikeouts on 126 pitches (77 strikes). He did walk seven, but he masterfully painted corners all game long.
The lone hit off of Herron came in the bottom of the fifth. Rey Otero lifted a single ending the no-hit bid for Herron. It was the second night in a row a RedHawks starter took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, as Brandon Mann did so last night, and the second night in a row that a RedHawks no-no was broken up in the home half of the fifth.
Herron continued the string of quality outings from RedHawks’ starting pitchers. 12 of the last 15 games have featured a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER or less), including the last seven games straight.
The opposing pitcher, Shawn Sanford, was just as good if not better than Herron. Sanford went 8.1 innings, allowing no runs and two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He gave up a single to Zach Penprase in the first inning, but Penprase got locked in a 4-6-3 double play ending any sort of threat.
The men on the hill were cruising along, and it looked as if it would be a quick one at Skylands Stadium. The two teams had played six innings in one hour and 25 minutes.
In fact, Sanford faced the minimum through 7.1 innings. Penprase getting roped in the double play allowed him to retire 22 straight before Joe Dunigan sent a major league popup that was dropped by the shortstop in the eighth. Dunigan would advance to second on a pass ball, and would be the first RedHawks base runner to reach second in the game.
The RedHawks appeared to be in business in the top of the ninth. Rookie Connor Andrus led off with a single and would be advanced to second on a bunt by Frank Salerno. Jordan Remur relieved Sanford of his duties and got Drew Muren to swing on strike three and caught Penprase looking at a called strike three to end the inning.
Tyler Thompson came on in relief for Herron in the bottom of the eighth. Thompson forced former RedHawk Ryan Mathews to ground out to Penprase at short ending the frame.
The rookie returned for the bottom of the ninth looking to send the game to bonus frames. Thompson forced three straight flyball outs to send the game to extras.
Remur would remain for the visitor’s half of the tenth. Extra-inning games have not treated Fargo-Moorhead well so far. Coming into today’s game they were 1-4 in those games, and had scored only two runs in eight bonus frames. The team changed that on Thursday morning. Chad Mozingo began by walking on four straight pitches to start the frame. Manager Doug Simunic saw the lack of control on Remur’s part and began to signal for his guys to take the first pitch. The strategy worked as Joe Staley clubbed an RBI double plating the first run of the game making it scoreless no more. Staley faced a 3-0 count and took consecutive strikes pulling the string out for Remur. Staley, however, had now seen all of Remur’s pitches and turned on an off-speed pitch scoring Mozingo.
The RedHawks were not done. Two batters later Tyler Peterson was intentionally walked to get to Frazier Hall, and Sussex brought in Michael Suk. Suk would walk Hall loading the bases for Andrus. Facing a full count, Andrus took a pitch low and away for ball four allowing Joe Staley to walk home making it 2-0.
With one out and the bases still loaded, Frank Salerno came to the plate. For the third straight at-bat, the RedHawks had worked the count to full, and for the third straight batter the Miners’ surrendered a base on balls. Salerno walked to second and Peterson was plated from third making it 3-0. Suk would retire Muren and Penprase ending Fargo-Moorhead’s game of around the world in the tenth but the damage had already been done. The RedHawks scored three runs on three hits with five walks, four of them in a row.
Closer Mike Nesseth came on for the second night in a row to close the game in the bottom of the tenth. He walked leadoff batter Johnny Bladel and Sergio Miranda proceeded to belt an RBI double plating Bladel all the way from first. Kenny Bryant would advance Miranda to third, followed by a groundout to second from the former big leaguer Reggie Abercrombie that scored Miranda making it 3-2. David Thaut would send a liner to Zach Penprase who gloved it and whipped it across the diamond to end the game.
Despite the strong start, Herron walks away with a no-decision while Tyler Thompson (2-0, 0.00 ERA) earns his second professional win. In eight appearances, Thompson has yet to allow an earned run. Mike Nesseth made it interesting in the bottom of the tenth but earned his eighth save of the season and second in as many nights. Sussex County starter Shawn Sanford did not factor in the decision either, and Jordan Remur (0-1, 12.00 ERA) took the loss for the Miners.
Fargo-Moorhead has now won four straight, a season high, and has a chance to win their second series in a row tomorrow night with a win, something they also have not accomplished yet. They improve to 2-4 in extra inning games this season and 18-34 overall while Sussex County falls to 18-28 overall. The RedHawks will send Tyler Alexander (0-2, 1.98 ERA), who is searching for his first win of the season, to the bump tomorrow night while the Miners will counter with Jamie Walczak (3-7, 5.36 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Jack Michaels on the call.
Game Date: 07/16/2015
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 3 AT :Sussex County Miners 2 (EXTRA INNINGS)
Fargo AB R H BI AVG Sussex County AB R H BI AVG
D.Muren CF 5 0 0 0 .254 J.Bladel LF 2 1 0 0 .400
Z.Penprase SS 5 0 1 0 .267 S.Miranda 3B 5 1 1 0 .143
C.Mozingo LF 3 1 0 0 .311 K.Bryant 1B 4 0 0 0 .313
J.Staley DH 4 1 1 0 .237 R.Abercrombie CF 5 0 0 1 .333
J.Dunigan RF 4 0 0 0 .211 D.Thaut DH 4 0 0 0 .105
T.Peterson 1B 3 1 0 0 .214 R.Mathews RF 3 0 0 0 .286
F.Hall 3B 3 0 0 0 .109 R.Pineda 2B 3 0 0 0 .375
B.Peterson 3B 0 0 0 0 .208 C.Morales SS 3 0 0 0 .176
C.Andrus C 3 0 1 1 .308 R.Otero C 3 0 1 0 .167
F.Salerno 2B 2 0 0 1 .268
32 3 3 2 32 2 2 1
Fargo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 - 3 3 1
Sussex County 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 - 2 2 1
2B--J.Staley (9), S.Miranda (1). RBI--C.Andrus (3), F.Salerno (11),
R.Abercrombie (4). SF--K.Bryant (1). SH--F.Salerno (0). SB--J.Bladel (3),
D.Thaut (1), R.Mathews (1). E--F.Hall (8), C.Morales (2).
LOB--Fargo 5, Sussex County 9. DP--R. Pineda(2B) - C. Morales(SS) - K.
IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
T.Herron 7.2 1 0 0 7 6 0 3.56
T.Thompson (W,2-0) 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
M.Nesseth (S,8) 1.0 1 2 2 1 0 0 3.12
10 2 2 2 8 6 0
S.Sanford 8.1 2 0 0 0 5 0 0.00
J.Remer (L,0-1) 1.0 1 3 3 3 3 0 12.00
M.Suk 0.2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0.00
10 3 3 3 5 9 0
PB--R.Otero. SO--D.Muren 2, Z.Penprase, J.Staley, J.Dunigan, F.Hall 2,
C.Andrus 2, J.Bladel, K.Bryant, R.Abercrombie, D.Thaut, R.Mathews 2.
BB--C.Mozingo, T.Peterson, F.Hall, C.Andrus, F.Salerno, J.Bladel 3,
D.Thaut, R.Mathews, R.Pineda, C.Morales, R.Otero. BF--T.Herron 32 (315),
T.Thompson 4 (29), M.Nesseth 5 (42), S.Sanford 27 (27), J.Remer 7 (15),
M.Suk 4 (11). P-S--T.Herron 126-77, T.Thompson 17-12, M.Nesseth 24-16,
S.Sanford 94-65, J.Remer 32-13, M.Suk 17-9.