RAMAPO, NY – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks set several statistical season highs in an 18-6 drubbing of the Rockland Boulders with a crowd of 3,152 onlookers at Provident Bank Park on Thursday night.
The ‘Hawks started off the ball game with a 22 minute top half of the first inning. Drew Muren, having missed the last three games nursing a hamstring injury, led off with a single to start the game. Zach Penprase would walk followed by Chad Mozingo’s 24th double of the season plating Muren making it 1-0. Joe Bonfe would ground out to short for the first out but Penprase scored making it 2-0. Joe Dunigan would walk then swipe second followed by another walk to Ryan Pineda. With the bases juiced, Joe Staley knocked a two RBI double plating Dunigan and Mozingo making it 4-0. Recently acquired shortstop Taylor Oldham sent a slow roller to short that was misplayed scoring Pineda signaling the end of the day for Boulders’ starter Nathaniel Roe. Roe lasted 0.1 of an inning, giving up seven runs (six earned) on three hits with three walks. Tyler Peterson and Muren would each follow with RBI singles off of reliever Marcus Jensen. Fargo-Moorhead sent 11 men to the plate, and came away with seven runs on four hits and lead 7-0 after the top half of the first.
RedHawks starter Taylor Stanton appeared as if he would mow down the Boulders in order in the home half of the first, as he forced back-to-back infield popups to start. However, all with two outs, the Boulders plated five runs on four hits, which started with a Marcus Nidiffer RBI single plating Stephen Cardullo. Ryan Fisher would follow with an RBI single bringing Charlie Law to the dish. Law stepped to the plate with two on and belted a three-run homer making it 7-5 after one inning.
Fargo-Moorhead would add one in the second inning, off a slapped single from Ryan Pineda scoring Joe Bonfe extending the lead to 8-5.
After the rough first inning, Stanton really settled in. He came in with a career record of 1-2 with an 8.50 ERA versus the Boulders, but shoved that aside after a shaky first and began to work quickly. Stanton retired the side in order in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings, and faced one over the minimum in the second, third, fifth and sixth frames.
Stanton entered the ninth looking to go the distance, but after throwing 134 pitches showed signs of fatigue and gave up three consecutive singles before giving way to Benji Waite in the bottom of the ninth.
While Stanton settled into a groove on the hill, the RedHawks displayed an offensive showcase in the ensuing innings. Joe Bonfe came up with the bases loaded in the third and delivered with an RBI single plating Muren making it 9-5. Dunigan would proceed to rip a base knock pushing the lead to 10-5. Two batters later Taylor Oldham would walk with the bases loaded scoring one, followed by a Tyler Peterson base hit plating Bonfe making it 12-5.
Fargo-Moorhead tacked on another in the fourth on a double from Pineda scoring Penprase giving Fargo-Moorhead a 13-5 advantage.
The RedHawks would explode for more runs once more in the fifth. Ryan Pineda had a two RBI fielder’s choice plating Penprase and Mozingo in the frame. Fargo-Moorhead would plate five runs on two hits and were aided with two errors by Rockland making it 18-5.
The RedHawks re-wrote the 2015 statistical season highs on Thursday night. F-M set season highs for most plate appearances in a game (44), runs (18), hits (17), walks drawn (13) and runs scored in an inning (7).
Some individual season high marks were met or exceeded as well. Batting in the ninth spot in the order, Tyler Peterson tied a team high for at-bats in a game having six at-bats. He also tied a team high with four hits in a single game. Zach Penprase took a base on balls three times, which also sets an individual high for the season.
With the win, Stanton (3-1) earns his third win of the season while Nathaniel Roe (1-2) watched his ERA balloon from 3.31 to 4.79 after allowing six earned runs in 0.1 innings and takes the loss for Rockland.
Fargo-Moorhead improves to 21-38 and 5-4 on the current road trip while Rockland drops to 34-22 with the loss. Game two of the series will see Ty Kelley (3-5, 3.79 ERA) taking the ball while Rockland will see Stephen Harrold (5-5, 4.65 ERA) getting the nod. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. central time with pre-game starting at 5:40 p.m. with Jack Michaels on 740 AM The Fan.