FARGO, N.D.(KFGO AM)-– St. Paul came back from a four-run deficit and held off a Fargo-Moorhead ninth-inning rally as the Saints defeated the RedHawks, 7-6, Wednesday at Newman Outdoor Field in front of 4,005 fans. RedHawks starter Brian Ernst retired seven Saints hitters heading into the seventh before two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with no outs. Fargo-Moorhead went to Danny Gutierrez out of the bullpen, but St. Paul followed with doubles by Dwight Childs and Trevor Hairgrove to tie the game 5-5. Joe Harris came in for Fargo-Moorhead and got two outs before St. Paul’s Brad Boyer hit a single to right to give the Saints a 6-5 lead. After an Ole Sheldon solo home run put the Saints on top 7-5, the RedHawks threatened in the ninth. Ron Bourquin and Nic Jackson hit singles to start the inning, and Bourquin advanced to third on a C.J. Retherford fielder’s choice. Retherford stole second and Keith Brachold walked to load the bases with one out. Tim Alberts hit a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game, but Saints reliever Jon Plefka forced Buddy Sosnoskie to hit into a game-ending groundout. The RedHawks (39-25) outhit the Saints 13-8, with Nic Jackson leading Fargo-Moorhead by going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored. Ron Bourquin and Tim Alberts each had two hits – with one home run – and two RBIs. C.J. Retherford hit a two-run home run in the third, which had given the RedHawks a 5-1 lead at the time. Ernst went six-plus innings and allowed four runs on three hits, four walks and struck out five in the no-decision. Gutierrez was tagged with the loss, while Chase Johnson pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Mike Koons improved to 2-0 for the Saints (33-30) despite giving up five runs on 10 hits in six innings. Mike Mehlich went 2 1/3 innings and gave up three hits and one run, while Jon Plefka earned his first save of the season by getting the last two outs of the ninth. Sheldon was the only Saints hitter with a multi-hit game. Childs and Hairgrove each had two RBIs. The rubber game is today at 12:30pm.
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