The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (39-25) split a pair of seven-inning games in a doubleheader against the Lake County Fielders (28-38), winning the first game 6-1, but losing the second 7-6 at Fielders Stadium in Zion, IL.
The Fielders fell behind early against the RedHawks, giving up two in the top of the first inning. Michael Coles led off with a single and advanced to second base on a passed ball with Zach Penprase hitting. Penprase then slapped an RBI single through the hole on the right side off of Fielders' starting pitcher Garry Bakker (3-7).
Nic Jackson then grounded out to third. Penprase went to third on the throw and Fielders' first baseman Jeff Dunbar threw back across the diamond to try to get Penprase, but the throw got away and Penprase scored easily, giving the RedHawks an early 2-0 lead.
But Bakker settled down from there, allowing only two hits over the next four innings, both of which were erased on ensuing double plays, before Alan Rick led off the sixth inning with a home run just over the centerfield wall.
Fargo added another run in that sixth inning on a Jesse Hoorelbeke RBI double, scoring Nic Jackson from second and making the score 4-0.
The RedHawks added two more in the top of the seventh. They drew three walks off of Bakker who left with the bases loaded and one out. Chad Lundahl came in and promptly gave up a two-run single to Coles before getting out of the inning with no more damage.
The Fielders did not go quietly in the bottom of the seventh, getting a solo home run from Cody Strait over the scoreboard in left field, but that would be it, as they dropped the first game of the doubleheader 6-1.
It was Lake County's turn to get on the board early in game two. Juan Valdes and Amos Ramon hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. And Josh Short and Brian McFall followed that with back-to-back home runs. Strait added another solo home run later in the inning, and the Fielders were off to an early 5-0 lead.
The three home runs in one inning is a Fielders' franchise record and the back-to-back home runs are the second in team history, after Zach Larsson and Guillermo Martinez did it in Rockford on July 18th. Short's 19th home run of the season ranks third in the Northern League.
The RedHawks fought their way back into the game with single runs in the second and third, and two runs in the fourth inning to make it 5-4.
The Fielders got two insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth. After loading the bases with two outs, Brian McFall slapped a single through the hole on the left side of the infield to score Larsson and Kevin Haas and make it 7-4.
Matt Schweitzer (2-2) earned the win in his third start since being added to the rotation. He pitched 3.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and striking out three.
Chris Homer allowed his first runs of the season, snapping his 20 inning scoreless streak, but still earned his tenth save of the season in ten opportunities.
The Fielders are next in action Tuesday night at 7:00pm against the RedHawks in Zion. Garrett Sherrill (6-2, 3.96) will face off against Scott Fogelson (6-2, 3.17) at Fielders' Stadium.