GOLDEYES - 3 REDHAWKS - 4 (Game 2)
With the 9-1 early-evening flop behind them, the Goldeyes headed into the second game of Saturday's double-header hunting for a little redemption.
They didn't quite get it, though this time it came right down to the wire. The 'Hawks struck in the second inning with three runs, and added one more off a Ronnie Bourquin homer in the fourth, but then the Fish battled back. Josh Mazzola hammered out a home run, outfielder Tim Smith got walked and quickly stole second, and then first baseman Casey Haerther slammed a double to let Smith run home.
So the Fish had a chance to take the game back -- and in the bottom of the final frame in the scheduled seven-inning game, they almost did: first, RedHawks pitcher Chase Johnson gave designated hitter Ryan Scoma and catcher Luis Alen a free stroll to first. Minutes later, an error by Fargo shortstop Zach Penprase let Scoma run home to put the Fish within one. But the home team got no farther.
RedHawks third baseman Ronnie Bourquin had a big night all over the field. With a bat in his hands, he hit the ball all three chances he had, including a fourth-inning home run that gave the RedHawks their fourth point of the night. On the defensive side, he made a snazzy diving catch early in the sixth to put Goldeyes shortstop Nate Samson out.
The Josh Mazzola homer gave the Fish faithful big reason to cheer, as the ball sailed clear past the Salisbury House sign and put the Fish on the board.
In the seventh inning, when second baseman Nick Liles stepped up to the plate, there were two outs on the scoreboard and a runner waiting on base. The Fish only needed one run to tie it up, two to take the game, and so the match was on Liles' bat -- but with RedHawks pitcher Johnson hurling from the mound, Liles struck out swinging. The infielder smashed his bat on the field in frustration, as relieved opponents walked off the Shaw Park grass.
"It was a rough day," said Haerther, who notched two hits, two RBI and a run of his own in six at-bats during the double-header. "When you don't score early, you're kind of battling at the end. The second game we were in it, and it was a good game, but we just fell a little bit short. In the shorter games you have to jump out ahead, and we never really did that." ON THE HOOK
The Goldeyes wrap their three-game home series against the RedHawks at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Shaw Park. After that, they'll hit the road for a seven-day roadie that includes four games in Sioux Falls and three in Fargo.