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Milwaukee, Young shut down RedHawks to force decisive Game 5 in Miles Wolff Cup finals

Milwaukee Milkmen starter Christian Young pitched five-plus scoreless innings in Game 4 to help lead his team to victory against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

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Fargo-Moorhead's Alec Olund dives to catch a fly ball against Milwaukee during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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FARGO — Milwaukee Milkmen starter Christian Young silenced the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks bats Wednesday night at Newman Outdoor Field to force a winner-take-all scenario for the American Association baseball championship.

Young pitched five-plus scoreless innings to help spark the Milkmen to a 3-0 victory in Game 4 of the Miles Wolff Cup finals before 1,537 fans.

“I’ll give credit to their starter," RedHawks right fielder Alec Olund said. "I think he made pitches when he needed to, he hit some spots. ... They kind of just kept the momentum throughout the night.”

Milwaukee tied the best-of-5 series at 2-2 with the victory. The decisive Game 5 is slated for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Newman Outdoor Field. Veteran left-hander Kevin McGovern is slated to start for the RedHawks. Milwaukee is expected to counter with right-handed veteran A.J. Schugel.

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Fargo-Moorhead's Leo Pina attempts to tag out Milwaukee's Bryan Torres at third base during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Torres was ruled safe on the play.
David Samson/The Forum

“If you’re going to have a guy to go to in the final game no matter what, it’s Kevin McGovern," RedHawks manager Chris Coste said. “I don’t know what more you could ask for if you are a baseball fan.”

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Young limited the RedHawks to two hits, struck out seven batters and walked two Wednesday night. He was lifted from the game after walking F-M catcher Christian Correa to lead off the sixth inning. Three Milkmen pitchers combined on the five-hit shutout.

“I think their starter did a really good job of elevating his fastball when he needed to," Coste said. “It came down to their pitchers.”

The RedHawks threatened in the sixth, with runners on first and second base with two outs after a Leo Pina single. Milkmen reliever Frankie Bartow, however, got Manny Boscan to pop out the shortstop to end the inning and preserve a 3-0 Milwaukee lead.

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Fargo-Moorhead's Alec Olund tosses the ball to a young fan after making a diving catch for an out against Milwaukee during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

F-M also had runners on first and third base with two outs in the seventh, but Bartow also squelched that potential rally, getting pinch hitter Ben Livorsi to fly out to deep center field to end the inning. Bartow pitched three scoreless innings.

Milwaukee took an early lead after Miguel Gomez delivered an RBI single to make it 1-0 in the third inning. The RedHawks escaped further damage after Olund made a spectacular diving catch with runners on second and third base for the final out in the top of the third.

Milwaukee center fielder Bryan Torres led off the fifth inning with a bunt single before advancing to second base on a Logan Trowbridge sacrifice bunt. Torres then stole third base and scored on a throwing error for a 2-0 lead. Torres finished 3-for-5 and scored two runs.

Right fielder Carl Chester added an RBI infield single that scored Will Kengor from third base to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning. The RedHawks escaped further damage in the sixth after RedHawks shortstop Sam Dexter fielded a ground ball, tagged out a runner between second and third base and fired the ball to first base for an inning-ending double play with runners on second and third base.

“The beauty of it is we still have an opportunity (Thursday) to win the whole thing," Olund said.

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RedHawks starter Peyton Wigginton pitched five-plus innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits. Wigginton struck out four batters and walked two before he was lifted in the sixth inning. The left-hander kept F-M close, but the RedHawks couldn't solve Milkmen pitching.

The RedHawks have a 4-0 record in elimination games during this postseason. F-M has dropped Game 1 in all three playoff series, including the first two rounds before rallying to win each of those series to make the Miles Wolff Cup finals.

“Our backs have been against the wall in two different series now and here we are again," Olund said. "I’m just excited for the opportunity. The game is about failure and how fast you can get over them.”

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Milwaukee's Logan Trowbridge hugs Fargo-Moorhead's bullpen catcher Rob Lopez while tracking down a foul ball during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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Fargo-Moorhead's Manuel Boscan leads off against Milwaukee's Christian Young during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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Fargo-Moorhead's Peyton Wigginton pitches against Milwaukee during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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Fargo-Moorhead's Leo Pina celebrates tagging out a Milwaukee baserunner at third base during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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Fargo-Moorhead's Sam Dexter reacts to the final out at the plate against Milwaukee during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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A replica Maury Wills Dodgers jersey hangs in the Fargo-Moorhead radio booth in honor of the Los Angeles Dodgers legend who passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 19, as the RedHawks take the field against Milwaukee during the American Association championship series at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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