FARGO — Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks right fielder John Silviano delivered in the clutch Tuesday night at Newman Outdoor Field, moving his team within one game of the American Association baseball championship series.
Silviano delivered a two-out, walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning to lift the RedHawks to a dramatic 6-5 victory against the Chicago Dogs in Game 3 of the division championship series at Newman Outdoor Field.
F-M took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 series. Game 4 is slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Newman. The Kansas City Monarchs have already advanced to the league's championship series.
Known for his ample power, Silviano lined a game-winning single into center field to score Leo Pina from second base with the winning run against the Dogs. Silviano smacked 24 home runs during the regular season.
"He’s gotten so many big hits," RedHawks manager Chris Coste said in his postgame radio interview. "He’s become more than just putting the ball over the fence. Obviously, that’s what he really loves to do, we all love it when he does, but what he’s brought to the table for us every day is at-bats very similar to that. ... He finds ways to get those hits, it’s very impressive."
The RedHawks rallied for two runs in the ninth inning after the Dogs had grabbed a one-run lead in the eight. Pinch hitter Nick Novak, a rookie, started the rally with a one-out, high-bouncing single past shortstop. He later scored on a wild pitch to tie the score at 5-5. A Chicago error and inability to turn a double play helped extend the inning.
"With our offense if you don’t put us down, if you don’t make that last play, we’re going to score," Coste said. "Chicago does the same thing to other people. They did it to us. The bottom line is a lot of amazon defense, but at the same you’ve still got to make that play when it’s hit to you and both teams had some issues on occasion."
Silviano came to the plate with two outs and runners on first and third base; however, the aforementioned wild pitch allowed Novak to score and moved Pina to second base. Silviano then knocked in Pina to win the game, setting off a spirited RedHawks celebration.
The Dogs took the lead in the eighth inning. With runners on first and second base with two outs, Chicago lead-off hitter Brennan Metzger lifted a fly ball to left field. RedHawks left fielder Kevin Krause appeared to not initially see the ball off the bat. Krause recovered and got under the ball, but it hit off his glove and two runs scored for a 5-4 Chicago lead, which it carried into the ninth.
RedHawks starting pitcher Matt Tomshaw pitched seven innings, scattering seven hits. He allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out eight and walking two. The left-hander retired the final eight batters he faced before giving way to the bullpen. He didn't figure in the decision. RedHawks right-handed reliever Luke Lind pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the victory.
The RedHawks took their first lead in the seventh inning, which Alex Boxwell started with a double. Boxwell later scored from third base after Manny Boscan dumped an opposite-way single into right field to tie the game at 3-3. First baseman Correlle Prime scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch for a 4-3 F-M lead. Dogs center fielder Anfernee Grier limited the RedHawks damage in the seventh to two runs, making a spectacular diving catch in shallow center field with the bases loaded.
The Dogs built an early 2-0 lead, scoring one run in both the first and second innings. First baseman K.C. Hobson had an RBI single in the first, while Grier added a solo home run in the second inning.
The RedHawks countered in the bottom half of the second inning. Boxwell reached base on a catcher's interference and later scored on Sam Dexter's two-out, RBI double into right-center field. Boxwell raced around the diamond for first base to cut the Dogs lead to 2-1 through two innings.
The Dogs took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning after catcher Ryan Lidge scored from third base on a RedHawks infield error. F-M countered in the fifth inning. Dexter led off the frame with a double and later scored on a Boscan groundout, cutting the Chicago lead to 3-2.
The game featured three lead changes in the final three innings.