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Eric Peterson, Published July 15 2012

RedHawks extend winning streak to a dozen games

FARGO – The RedHawks’ month-long heat wave continued on a steamy Sunday afternoon at Newman Outdoor Field.

Fargo-Moorhead rallied for three runs in the seventh inning to earn a 6-3 victory against the Grand Prairie AirHogs in American Association baseball before an announced crowd of 2,677 fans.

The RedHawks (33-21) extended their winning streak to 12 games (the longest winning streak in the AA this season) and have won 24 of their past 28. The franchise record for consecutive victories is 14, which was set in 2005. F-M has also had two 13-game winning streaks (2005, 1998) during its franchise history. The American Association record for consecutive wins is 15, which Pensacola set in 2010.

“Stuff is just going our way right now,” said RedHawks outfielder Buddy Sosnoskie, who went 3-for-4 on Sunday. “You take it one game at a time and they add up.”

The RedHawks are 12-1 in July and have swept three consecutive four-game series against three teams with winning records – Winnipeg, Kansas City and the AirHogs.

Grand Prairie (37-18) still has the best record in the American Association despite losing its past four games against the RedHawks.

“When you are playing against those top guys, you try to get more of an enthusiasm,” said RedHawks shortstop Zach Penprase, who went 3-for-5 on Sunday. “I think it’s only natural for you to play up to the talent.”

Penprase snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a RBI single to right field that scored Carlo Cota from second base. Four batters later, Jon Gaston smacked a two-out, two-run single to center field that gave the RedHawks a 6-3 lead.

“We got the hit at the right time,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “Penprase came up and knocked in the fourth run.”

Both starters kept both offenses in check for most of the afternoon. Grand Prairie right-hander John Brownell (7-2) limited the RedHawks to three runs through six innings before being chased from the game in the seventh inning. F-M starter Alex Caldera (7-1) pitched seven strong innings to pick up the victory. The right-handed throwing Caldera threw 117 pitches, including 75 strikes.

“I thought the pitching duel was pretty good,” Simunic said. “Both guys had command. I thought it was a very well-pitched game.”

F-M relievers Kevin Fuqua and Tom Boleska pitched back-to-back scoreless innings to ice the outcome. Boleska pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his league-leading 16th save.

The RedHawks play 14 of their next 17 games on the road, starting tonight in Sioux Falls. F-M has been solid on the road this season to this point with a 16-8 record away from Newman Outdoor Field.

“It’s all a challenge because we have the toughest schedule in the league,” Simunic said. “We’re going to get a big dose of a lot of different stuff.”

NOTES: Right-hander Paul Burnside (5-3, 3.03 ERA) is scheduled to start today for the RedHawks, who start a three-game series at Sioux Falls. … The RedHawks are 17-13 at Newman Outdoor Field this season. … F-M designated hitter Ryan Delgado has reached base in each of his past 26 games. Delgado went 0-for-4 on Sunday, but reached on an error in the sixth inning. … Sosnoskie improved his batting average to a team-best .358 through Sunday’s game. The top six hitters in the F-M lineup are all batting above .300. No. 7 hitter Marcos Rodriguez is batting .294.

GRAND PRAIRIE REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Nsmto ss 5 0 1 0 Pnprse ss 5 2 3 1

Frichtr 2b 5 0 0 0 Ssnskie cf 4 2 3 1

Myrow dh 5 1 3 0 Jacksn dh 4 1 1 1

Rdrgz 1b 4 1 2 2 Cmpbll 3b 3 0 0 0

Porter 3b 4 0 1 0 Gaston rf 3 0 1 2

McMrry lf 4 1 1 0 Dlgdo c 4 0 0 0

Lckwd rf 3 0 1 0 Rdrgz 1b 4 0 2 1

Chavez c 4 0 0 0 Cota 2b 4 1 1 0

Thmas cf 3 0 0 1 Stovll lf 3 0 1 0

Totals 37 3 9 3 Totals 34 6 12 6

GP 010 020 000–3 9 3

FM 000 210 30x–6 12 2

E–Nishimoto (10), Porter (6), Miramontes (1), Delgado (1), Rodriguez (7). 2B–Jackson (18), Cota (13). 3B–Sosnoskie (1). HP–Thomas (7). HR–Rodriguez (10). SB–Chavez (1). CS–Penprase (2). LOB–Grand Prairie 9, Fargo-Moorhead 7. DP–Grand Prairie 3.

GRAND PRAIRIE

IP H R ER BB SO

Brownell, L, 7-2 6Zc 10 5 4 1 3

Morales Xc 2 1 1 1 0

Miramontes 1 0 0 0 1 0

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Caldera, W, 7-1 7 9 3 3 1 2

Fuqua 1 0 0 0 0 3

Boleska 1 0 0 0 0 2

Umpires–Home: Thigpen. First: Hicks. Third: Bakke. Time–2:45. A–2,677.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com