FARGO, ND - Despite improved pitching from the night before, the Canaries (21-40) were unable to muster a win in the second game of their series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (30-31), falling 4-2 in the battle of the birds. The loss is the Canaries seventh in a row and 12th in their last 13 games.
Matt Wickswat turned in a strong start, correcting the control problems that had plagued him as of late. The lefty did not factor in the decision and allowed just two runs in six innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits while striking out three and not walking a batter. The only damage done to Wickswat tonight came in the 3rd inning. Dusty Robinson hit a double with one out and Anthony Kaskadden reached on an error by the shortstop Stephen Branca. Zach Penprase and Sawyer Carroll followed with RBI singles and the RedHawks took an early 2-0 lead.
The Canaries quickly answered back in the 5th. Chris Duffy and Carlos Mendez each doubled to start the inning, cutting the deficit to 2-1 and Matt delivered a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 2. RedHawks starter Brad Orosey was otherwise effective, but took a no-decision. Orosey went 5.1 innings and allowed just the two runs on four hits, while striking out and walking one batter each.
The decisive runs for the RedHawks came in the 7th inning. Josh Giles relieved Wickswat to start the 7th and quickly walked the bases loaded with just one out. Giles then gave way to John Brebbia who was unable to strand the inherited runners and the RedHawks retook the lead 4-2 on a 2 RBI ground-rule double from Penprase. Brebbia would eventually induce a doubleplay ball to end the inning and Joe Testa would throw a scoreless 8th for the Canaries.
Kevin Fuqua (4-1) went 1.2 innings for Fargo-Moorhead to earn the win. Eric Draxton threw a scoreless 8th and closer Nate Garcia held the Canaries off the board in the 9th to earn his 14th save.
Branca and Duffy led the way offensively for the Canaries; Branca had three hits and Duffy had two doubles. Penprase was the only RedHawk to record two hits and he drove in three runs including the game-winning double.
The final game of the series will be at 1:05 PM on Sunday. Pregame coverage will start at 12:45 on AM 1230 and FM 98.1 KWSN. Fans can also stream live on KWSN.com or via the KWSN mobile app.
- Aaron Rosenberg