Battling with a team that tallies 11 hits is tough enough. But with nine walks to add to that hit parade, it ended up being a tough night for the Red Wing Aces against the River Falls Fighting Fish on Tuesday.
Trailing 6-3 after the seventh inning, River Falls fought back with five total runs over the eighth and ninth innings for an 8-6 come-from-behind victory at the Red Wing Athletic Field.
“Early walks in the inning killed us tonight,” said Red Wing manager/designated hitter Jimmy Bohmbach. “Our defense has to help out, too. We had a couple bad hops out there.”
The walk did the most damage in the top of the eighth as the Fighting Fish’s first two batters – Josh Eidem and Kyle Duex – drew walks. After a single by No. 9 batter Brian Grove loaded the bases, Brian Giebel drove in two runs after an Aces fielding error. River Falls took the lead later in the inning following RBI singles by Clint Kempf and Sam Barr. The Fighting Fish added an insurance run in the ninth after Kyle Duex scored on a wild pitch.
JT Cunningham gave Red Wing four solid innings as the team’s starting pitcher, giving up just one run and five hits with one walk and one strikeout.
“He probably could have gone longer, but we got a tournament in Shakopee coming up this weekend,” Bohmbach said, “and with this not being a league game, we wanted to give our pitchers shorter innings.”
In relief, the combination of Brady Schroeder, Isaac Oeltjen, Aaron Stoneberg and Steve Boldt struggled to keep River Falls off the bases with hits, walks and wild pitches. Three Fighting Fish – Kempf, Barr and Duex – finished with two hits apiece. Giebel, Eidem and Duex each crossed home twice in the victory.
The Aces’ pitching woes spoiled a strong offensive night for the team as Red Wing pieced together 13 team hits. Alex Quiding, from the No. 9 spot, led the team with three hits while Adam Thygesen, Boldt, Bohmbach and Mitch Matter each collected two hits. Ty Buck had a double and two runs scored for Red Wing.
“We missed a couple of chances, but overall, our offense did its job,” said Bohmbach, who went 2-for-2 with a run scored in his first game back after getting married on June 27.
Red Wing (10-8) will play in the Coors Light Classic in Shakopee this weekend, with an opening-round game against St. Michael at 8 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the Aces are slated to play Minnetonka and the Shakopee Indians. Slated to start for the Indians on Saturday is longtime Aces pitcher and former manager Andy Gibart.