C.J. Ziegler hit an RBI single and David Peralta followed with an RBI double in the ninth to give the Wichita Wingnuts the runs they needed to defeat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 7-5, in the three-game series opener at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, ND.
Wichita started the game off with an early lead in the top of the second after a two-run double by Peralta brought in Ziegler and Jared McDonald. Next batter Salomon Manriquez hit an RBI single to extend the Wingnuts lead to 3-0.
Fargo-Moorhead would strike back in the bottom of the second. Jorge Delgado and Todd Jennings both hit singles in the inning before designated hitter Ryan Delgado hit a line drive single to left field scoring Jorge Delgado from second cutting the deficit to 3-1.
After a Wichita sacrifice fly in the fourth gave them a 4-1 lead, Fargo-Moorhead’s Ryan Delgado hit a double in the bottom of the fourth which scored Carlo Cota and Jennings to again cut the Wingnuts lead to 4-3.
The RedHawks earned their first lead of the game in the fifth. Leadoff batter Aaharon Eggleston started the inning with a single and moved over to third on a line drive double down the left field line by Nic Jackson. Enrique Cruz drove both runners in with a double to give Fargo-Moorhead a 5-4 lead.
The Wingnuts wouldn’t be down for long, tying the game in the sixth inning 5-5, off the bat of Jake Kahaulelio who hit a single to drive in Manriquez.
Fargo-Moorhead would get out of a jam in the top of the seventh with bases loaded. With one out, Wichita’s Manriquez hit into a 6-4-3 double-play ending the inning with no runs scored. The RedHawks would turn another double play in the eighth inning with a runner on first, this time with third baseman Cruz starting the 5-4-3 putout.
With Wichita leading 7-5 going into the bottom of the inning, Fargo-Moorhead tried to battle back. With one out, Marcos Rodriguez came into pinch-hit for Ryan Stovall and walked. After an Eggleston line-out to right, Penprase followed with a double down the right field line to put runners on second and third. Wichita elected to pitch to the RedHawks’ leading hitter Jackson with first base open. The decision paid off with Jackson hitting a groundball to the first baseman who flipped it to Wingnuts closer Josh Dew to end the game.
The Wingnuts had 12 hits compared to the RedHawks 9 hits. Peralta lead the Wingnuts from the plate, going 2-for-2 with a double, three RBIs and three walks. Manriquez and Ryan Khoury both had two hits and an RBI. Every batter in the Wichita lineup got a hit in the game.
The RedHawks had multi-hit games from Jennings and Delgado with Delgado batting in three runners. Seven different players had hits on the night.
Wichita has now won six straight games and improves to 8-3 on the season. Reliever Matt Nevarez picks up his first win on the season. Wichita closer Josh Dew picked up his fourth save of the season pitching in the final inning. Starter Ryan Hinson pitched five innings and gave up five earned runs on eight hits.
Fargo-Moorhead drops to 5-6 on the season. Starter Aaron Shafer pitched 5 2/3 innings giving up five earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Reliever Daniel Morari came in after Kyle Dahman pitched to one batter and picked up his first loss of the season. Morari pitched 2 2/3 innings giving up three hits and one earned run.
The two teams continue their three-game series tomorrow with an 11:00 a.m. game from Newman Outdoor Field.