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Eric Peterson, Published May 25 2012

Sioux Falls spoils RedHawks home opener with win in extra innings

FARGO – Friday evening at Newman Outdoor Field concluded with spectacular post-game fireworks. The home team, however, wasn’t able to muster much of its own fireworks during the game.

Cristian Guerrero cracked a two-run home run in the 11th inning to spark Sioux Falls to a 4-2 victory against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in American Association baseball before a sellout crowd of 4,707 fans. That was the fourth largest home-opening crowd in franchise history.

“We didn’t put up runs until late,” said RedHawks shortstop Zach Penprase. “I don’t know if we even played right to win the game. We’ve got to score early on these guys.”

The RedHawks (4-4) scored both their runs in the eighth inning, taking a 2-1 lead into the ninth that they were unable to protect.

“We didn’t have any chances early in the game,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said.

Third baseman Enrique Cruz punched a two-run single to center field in the eighth inning that gave the RedHawks a 2-1 lead that stood until the ninth inning.

The RedHawks appeared to have the game won in the ninth inning. Closer Tom Boleska struck out Cesar Nicolas for the third out. However, Boleska’s pitch was in the dirt and got away from catcher Todd Jennings. Jennings was charged with an error as he was unable to throw out Nicolas at first base. Pheasants center fielder Jonny Kaplan scored from third base on the play to make the score 2-2.

The RedHawks missed a solid scoring chance in the 10th inning. They loaded the bases with one out, but were unable to capitalize. Sioux Falls reliever Kyle Mertins struck out Cruz looking and got Marcos Rodriguez to fly out the left field that end that threat.

“We had chance to win the game a few times, but just couldn’t get a hit,” Simunic said.

Sioux Falls starter Allen DeRatt stymied the RedHawks early in the game. The right-hander pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits.

“Their pitcher held us down,” Simunic said. “He was throwing strikes, getting ahead and pitched a good game. We maybe we were a little anxious.”

RedHawks starter Jake Laber allowed one run in 5Xc innings despite allowing eight hits and walking three batters.

“He was pitching uphill,” Simunic said. “Give him credit, he held the game 1-0 for a long time, but he wasn’t real sharp.”

NOTES: The RedHawks have sold the contract of right-handed pitcher Kenn Kasparek to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Kasparek is expected to leave the team after tonight’s game. … F-M has released left-handed pitcher Tony Butler, who made one start this season. It also signed right-handed pitcher Kyle Dahman. … The RedHawks acquired first baseman Jorge Delgado from the Laredo Lemurs prior to Friday’s home opener. Delgado batted fourth in the lineup. … Right-handed pitcher Alex Caldera (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for the RedHawks today against the Pheasants. Sioux Falls is expected to counter with right-hander Matthew Sommo. … The RedHawks are 12-5 in home openers.

SIOUX FALLS REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Kaplan cf 3 2 2 0 Egglstn lf 5 0 1 0

Morles ss 5 0 0 0 Pnprse ss 3 1 1 0

Bolden 1b 6 0 1 0 Jckson cf 3 1 2 0

Nicols 3b 5 1 1 0 Dlgado 1b 3 0 0 0

Grrero rf 5 1 1 2 Cruz 3b 5 0 1 2

Shorey lf 6 0 4 0 Rdrgz dh 5 0 1 0

Lwhrn dh 5 0 1 0 Cota 2b 5 0 1 0

Qntna c 4 0 3 0 Stovall rf 5 0 0 0

Athnsn 2b 3 0 0 0 Jnnings c 5 0 1 0

Totals 42 4 13 2 Totals 39 2 8 2

SF 100 000 001 02–4 13 0

FM 000 000 020 00–2 8 2

E–Stovall (2), Jennings (3). LOB–Sioux Falls 15, RedHawks 10. DP–RedHawks 1, Sioux Falls 0. 2B–Kaplan (3), Jackson (5), Rodriguez (6). HR–Guerrero (1). SB–Shorey (1), Penprase (3), Jackson (2).

SIOUX FALLS

IP H R ER BB SO

DeRatt 6 3 0 0 2 6

Cooper 1Xc 2 2 2 1 4

Evans 1Zc 2 0 0 0 0

Mertins W 2 1 0 0 1 3

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Laber 5Xc 8 1 1 3 3

Rivers 2 1 0 0 1 1

Morari Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Boleska 2 2 1 0 1 3

Herron L 1 2 2 2 1 0

Umpires–Home: O’Leary. First: Pascucci. Third: Stodola. Time–3:26. A–4,707.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com


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