FARGO, N.D. – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks come back to Newman Outdoor field this week for their 2021 Home Opener after going .500 on their season-opening road trip against the Cleburne Railroaders and Kansas City Monarchs. The team beat Cleburne twice and Kansas City once and are currently one game back of the American Association North Division lead. RedHawks shortstop Sam Dexter (12 hits, .480/.480/.720) and Kevin McGovern (1-0, 0.00 ERA) have been the RedHawks top performers thus far in 2021.
The ‘Hawks opened up the season with a tough 4-3 loss to the Railroaders on Tuesday, May 18, as Cleburne scored two runs off reliever Brent Jones (0-1, 9.00 ERA) in the bottom of the 8th inning to take a 4-2 lead. In Game 2 of the series, RedHawks pitcher Kevin Herget (1-0, 1.28 ERA) only allowed one run on three hits in 7.0 innings pitched, as Leobaldo Pina hit a three-run home run off of Railroaders’ pitcher Garrett Alexander to take a 4-1 lead in the 6th inning. Blake Rogers earned his first save of the season, striking out one batter in the 9th inning while leading the RedHawks to their first win of the season. In the series finale, McGovern was lights out, pitching a complete game shutout and only allowing four hits while leading Fargo-Moorhead to a 4-0 win. Cleburne pitcher Michael Gunn gave up three runs in the 2nd inning and allowed seven hits and four walks in his 5.0 innings pitched.
Fargo-Moorhead then traveled to Kansas City on Friday to play a three-game series against the Monarchs, but could’t match their offensive firepower in the first game. Kansas City hit three home runs, with two off of RedHawks starting pitcher Gage Hinsz (0-1, 10.38 ERA), to win by a score of 9-4. Monarchs pitcher Brian Glowicki gave up two runs on seven hits but struck out seven in 5.0 innings of work. The RedHawks flipped the script in Game 2 with an 8-4 win. After giving up two runs in the 2nd inning, ‘Hawks pitcher Bret Helton (1-0, 3.00 ERA) didn’t allow another hit, which gave Fargo-Moorhead the chance to get back into the game. They did just that in the top of the 7th inning by scoring four runs (three of them unearned) off of Kansas City pitcher Jameson McGrane. Both teams’ bats quieted down in Game 3, as the teams combined for only three runs after scoring a total of 25 in the two previous games. Kansas City won the game 2-1 as relievers Micahel Hope (0-1, 1.92 ERA) and Carlos Diaz were given the decisions in the series finale.
Through six games, Sam Dexter leads all RedHawks batters in hits (12) and batting average (.480), and is tied for the team lead in doubles (3), home runs (1), extra-base hits (4), and runs batted in (5). Dexter currently has the second best batting average in the American Association behind Chicago’s Ryan Lidge (.556). Other notable batters include Leobaldo Pina (.409/.500/.682) and Alex Boxwell (.357/.400/.500).
Kevin McGovern had a complete game shutout against the Cleburne Railroaders on Thursday, allowing only 4 hits while striking out eight. McGovern is tied with 13 other pitchers for the lowest ERA (0.00) in the American Association, but has at least 1.2 more innings pitched than anyone else currently tied for the league lead. Other notable pitchers include Blake Rogers (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 Save) and Tyler Pike, who did not get a decision, but pitched well in his first two starts of the season.
Kevin McGovern was named the American Association Pitcher of the Week on Monday and is scheduled to pitch twice in this upcoming homestand. Kevin Herget, who was 1-0 with a 1.28 ERA this season, had his contract transferred to the Cleveland Indians on Monday after a fantastic first start for the RedHawks. The two top batters in the American Association, Ryan Lidge (.556) and Sam Dexter (.480), will face off this week as the Chicago Dogs visit the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for a three-game series starting on Tuesday. Tyler Pike is the American Association leader in strikeouts with 16 through 12.0 innings pitched in his first two starts of the season.
The RedHawks kick off their 2021 Home Opener on Tuesday, May 25 at 7:02 p.m. against the Chicago Dogs at Newman Outdoor Field. This year also marks the team’s 25th Anniversary, with various celebrations to be held throughout the year.
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