Keith Brachold hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning in Fargo-Moorhead’s 4-3 win over the RailCats on Saturday night. The loss dropped Gary to 13-13 on the season.
The game was tied at three in the eighth inning when Brachold hit a one-out homer off of Marco Gonzalez that just cleared the wall in right to put the RedHawks in front.
The RailCats tried to rally in the ninth, as they put two runners on with one out. RedHawks’ closer Chase Johnson struck out Adam Klein and Mike Massaro back-to-back to end the game and earn his ninth save.
A defensive miscue by the RedHawks helped the RailCats pull in front in the second inning. Brian Kolb and Drew Martinez started the inning with back-to-back singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice by Tyler Smith. With two out, Chase Tucker walked to load the bases for Klein. Klein tapped a grounder to third but Ronnie Bourquin’s throw was wild to first, allowing Kolb and Martinez to score on the error.
RailCats’ starter Ari Ronick held Fargo-Moorhead scoreless on two hits through five innings. In the sixth, he gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning. Tim Alberts hit a grounder down the third base line but Kolb robbed him with a diving stop, stepping on third for a fielder’s choice. Brachold then hit a bouncer to first under the glove of Steve Liddle, and Nic Jackson scored on the error. Ian Durham came on in relief and allowed a hit to C.J. Retherford, scoring Alberts to tie the game at two.
Ronick was charged with two runs, one earned in 5 1/3 innings in the no-decision. He walked one and struck out two.
Controversy erupted in the top of the seventh inning, when the RailCats appeared to take the lead. Smith led off with a triple off the wall in right. Zac Mitchell followed with a fly ball to center that Jackson caught on a diving play. Smith jogged home to score the go-ahead run on the sac fly. However, upon appeal, it was ruled that Smith left third early and he was ruled out with the run wiped off the board.
The RedHawks quickly took advantage in the bottom of the frame, as Buddy Sosnoskie led it off with a homer to right off of Durham to put Fargo ahead, 3-2.
Cristian Guerrero provided the answer in the top of the eighth for the RailCats with an RBI double to right-center to tie it at three. Guerrero was 2-for-4 to extend his hit streak to 11 games. He is one RBI away from tying Steve Haake for the all-time franchise record at 275.
Joe Harris (2-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory, while Gonzales (0-3) was charged with the loss.
The series finale and rubber match is on Sunday at 1 p.m. RailCats right-hander Morgan Coombs (2-0, 4.63) will face RedHawks righty Taylor Stanton (3-2, 3.52). The radio broadcast can be heard on 89.1 FM The Lakeshore and www.railcatsbaseball.com.