Stephen Bougher turned in a solid start, but the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks rallied late to beat the Canaries 6-3 on Saturday night.
The Canaries looked to be in good shape to start the night. A first inning two-run blast from Taylor Zeutenhorst, the hero from Friday night’s victory, put the Birds up early. That was more than enough support for Bougher while he was on the mound.
Bougher was near perfect over six innings, only giving up two hits while striking out six and walking two. At one point, he retired 12 straight batters, bookended by a walk in the first and a walk in the fifth.
The seventh inning is where things went awry for the Canaries. Kris Regas gave up three straight hits, including two doubles, bringing the score to 2-1. A sacrifice fly by catcher Luke Bailey tied the ballgame at two. Kes Carter drove in the go-ahead run with a RBI double. Chad Mozingo singled to bring the score to 4-2, cueing the end of the night for Regas. Josh Ferrell came out of the Birds bullpen and struck out Ryan Pineda to end the frame.
The Birda battled back, however, in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Grayson led the bottom half off with a single. After a Chapman popout, David Bergin was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second. Will Mathis came in for the RedHawks and struck out Zeutenhorst, but Ethan Chapman brought the Birds back within one with a RBI single, scoring Grayson, cutting the lead to 4-3.
The Birds’ defense, which has looked shaky at times this season, didn’t do the pitching staff any favors, recording two costly errors on Saturday night. The first came in the top of the eighth. Fargo-Moorhead designated hitter Keury De La Cruz laced a booming double to the gap in left, and made a big turn around second. Shortstop Jerome Pena, who served as the cutoff man on the play, tried making the throw back to second, but overthrew first baseman Ozney Guillen, who was covering second. De La Cruz advanced to third on the play. Josh Mazzola drove De La Cruz in with a sacrifice fly, pushing the lead up to 5-3.
The ninth inning was a similar story. With Madison Boer on the hill for the Birds, Kes Carter walked with one away, then stole second base. He then advanced to third on a groundout to the right side. With two outs in the ninth, Chad Mozingo skied the first pitch he saw above first base. Guillen, who appeared to have a good read on the ball off the bat, had the ball land behind him in the dirt, allowing Carter to score from third, capping off the scoring at 6-3.
The Canaries look to earn a series win against Fargo-Moorhead on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m.
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