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Eric Peterson, Published June 08 2012

Goldeyes starter Walker shuts down RedHawks

FARGO – Winnipeg’s “Ace” silenced the Fargo-Moorhead bats Friday night at Newman Outdoor Field, leaving RedHawks manager Doug Simunic perplexed.

Goldeyes starter Ace Walker held F-M scoreless through eight innings to fuel a 5-2 victory in American Association baseball before 3,443 fans.

“We aren’t putting any at-bats together,” Simunic said. “I don’t remember the last time we had three hits in a row in a game. Three hits in a row? I mean, you’ve got to have some of that to win a game.”

Walker (3-0) retired the first 13 batters he faced, and held the RedHawks hitless until the fifth inning. Walker was lifted from the game after giving up back-to-back hits with one out in the ninth inning, including a solo home run.

“He was throwing strike one.” Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said of Walker, who lowered his season ERA to 3.00. “When he’s going well he’s really efficient with throwing strike one. He probably pitches to both sides of the plate better than any pitcher or starting pitcher in this league.”

The RedHawks (9-12) dropped 5 ½ games behind first-place Winnipeg (14-6) in the North Division standings. F-M has a 3-8 home record this season.

The Goldeyes built a 5-0 lead with a three-run sixth inning. Right fielder Josh Mazzola sparked the rally with a RBI double to the gap in left-center field. The RedHawks committed two errors in the sixth and also let a Winnipeg run score on a wild pitch.

F-M committed three errors in the game, leading to three unearned Winnipeg runs.

“You can’t make errors against good teams especially if you’re not going to hit and score,” Simunic said. “Errors will just crush you.”

The RedHawks mounted their best rally in the ninth inning. Designated hitter Ryan Delgado crushed a one-out solo home run to straightaway center field off Walker to get F-M on the scoreboard. Marcos Rodriguez followed with a single to right field that chased Walker from the game.

“That’s a big drive right there to center field. It’s not easy to do that,” Forney said of Delgado’s solo blast. “I think Ace ran out of bullets, but he did his job.”

The RedHawks cut the Winnipeg lead to 5-2 after a Ryan Stovall single to left field off Goldeyes right-hander reliever Nick Carr.

F-M leadoff hitter Aharon Eggleston came to the plate (with two outs and runners on first and third base) representing the tying run. Eggleston, however, lined out to center field for the game’s final out.

“It’s never easy when you play the RedHawks, especially in this park,” Forney said. “They’re scuffling a little bit, but they have good personnel over there and they know how to win baseball games.”

Simunic said his team needs to mount consistent offense to start a significant winning streak. The RedHawks haven’t won back-to-back games in more than two weeks.

“Our offense is down to somebody stealing second and hopefully we get a base hit,” Simunic said. “We’ve got to get everybody on cue and we don’t have that.”

WINNIPEG REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Kndl 2b-ss 5 1 1 0 Eglestn lf 5 0 0 0

Rbersn cf 5 1 1 0 Pnprse ss 3 0 0 0

Weber 1b 5 0 3 1 Jcksn cf 4 0 0 0

DCsr 2b-3b 4 0 1 0 Delgdo rf 4 0 0 0

Alen c 3 1 1 0 Rdriguz 1b 4 1 3 0

Mazzola rf 4 1 1 1 Jennings c 4 0 2 0

Day dh 4 0 3 0 Cota 2b 4 0 1 0

Ramon 3b 4 0 0 0 Stovall 3b 4 0 1 1

Nrdwki ss 0 0 0 0

Crpntr lf 4 0 1 0

Totals 38 5 11 3 Totals 36 2 8 2

WINNIPEG 200 003 000–5 11 1

REDWAKS 000 000 002–2 8 3

E–Kendall, Cota, Stovall, Morari. 2B–Mazzola, Day, Rodriguez. HR– Delgado (5).

WINNIPEG

IP H R ER BB SO

Walker, W 8Zc 6 2 2 1 2

Carr Xc 2 0 0 0 0

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Shafer, L 5 Zc 9 4 2 1 5

Morari 1 0 1 0 0 0

Zenko Xc 1 0 0 0 0

Dahman 2 1 0 0 0 1

Umpires–Home: Anderson. First: McCaffrey. Third: Linton. Time–2:37. A–3,443.


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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at peterson.areavoices.com