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Ken Wiebe, Published September 05 2009

Goldeyes shut out RedHawks

WINNIPEG – Any question as to whether the Winnipeg Goldeyes could pick themselves up off the mat were erased in convincing fashion.

After losing a gut-wrenching one-run, extra-inning decision in Game 2, the Goldeyes showed no signs of any emotional scarring as they regrouped with a 5-0 victory Friday against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks before a crowd of 6,015 at Canwest Park.

With the victory, the Goldeyes take a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-5 first round Northern League playoff series.

“There’s tomorrow and it’s do or die,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “Try to force a Game 5.”

Game 4 is at 6:05 tonight. The Goldeyes will attempt to advance to the Northern League Championship Series for the first time since 2003, when they lost 3-1 to the RedHawks.

Simunic said right-hander Matt Mossey will likely start in Game 4.

“Winning tonight was and is huge for our team,” Goldeyes starter Andrew Cruse said.

This was going to be about as stiff a mental test for the Goldeyes, who were an out away from coming home with a 2-0 stranglehold until a throwing error allowed the RedHawks to score twice in the bottom of the 10th to even the series.

It didn’t take long for the Goldeyes to show they were going to be able to rebound. The first four Fish hitters had base hits, including an RBI double from Josh Asanovich.

The top of the second inning brought a historic defensive moment.

After the first two RedHawks reached base, Cruse got Ruben Salazar to hit a grounder to third baseman Vince Harrison.

Harrison alertly tried to tag Nic Jackson, who eventually ran outside the base-line and was called out, threw to second base and Josh Asanovich completed the turn to get Salazar by a step at first and complete a rare triple play.

“It just kind of takes you out of the game to a degree, but the game was only

2-nothing,” Simunic said. “We just couldn’t mount anything.”