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Eric Peterson, Published August 17 2012

RedHawks roll past Rockland in interleague play

FARGO – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks first taste of interleague play this season was a success.

Starting pitcher Paul Burnside pitched 5Xc scoreless innings on Friday night at Newman Outdoor Field. His effort helped lift the RedHawks to a 7-3 victory against the Rockland (N.Y.) Boulders in independent baseball before 3,992 fans.

“All in all, baseball is baseball regardless of who you’re playing,” RedHawks second baseman Carlo Cota said. “But it’s always nice to have a little information on the team you’re playing.”

Rockland is part of the Can-Am League, which is playing interleague games with the American Association this summer because each league has an odd number of teams. Playing interleague games prevents each league from having one team sit idle for an entire series at a time. The AA has 13 teams. The Can-Am has five. Miles Wolff is the commissioner of both leagues.

“I don’t think you are going to see much difference,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “They have players of the same age, players of the same caliber.”

While the RedHawks were playing their first game against a Can-Am opponent Friday, the Boulders were playing their 11th against an American Association team. Rockland is 2-9 against AA teams this season and is in the midst of a nine-game road swing.

Rockland (which plays its home game in Pomona, N.Y.) flew to Omaha, Neb., before it hopped a bus to Sioux City, Iowa, said manager Dave LaPoint. The Boulders played three games against the Explorers before another bus trip to Fargo. After this three-game series, Rockland buses to St. Paul for three more games and then flies back to New York.

“It’s not that bad … the cities we’re going to are all nice,” said LaPoint, who played on the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals team, which won the World Series. “The people have been great. I have no complaints.”

The RedHawks weren’t gracious hosts Friday, scoring three runs in the third inning to build an early four-run lead. Right fielder Jon Gaston capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to center field that gave F-M a 4-0 lead. That run proved to be the game-winner.

“Both teams came in here a little blind, but we were able to get some early runs,” Cota said.

Burnside’s outing was a mixed bag. While the right-hander

didn’t allow a run, he walked six batters and gave up three hits. Burnside (9-6) struck out eight batters to help offset the free passes and earn the victory. Rockland left the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings.

“Tonight, we used a lot of pitches and we got ourselves in trouble,” Simunic said.

Burnside threw 115 pitches, including 58 strikes. F-M pitching tied a season high for walks in a single game with eight.

Third baseman Eric Campbell paced the RedHawks offense. He went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Campbell, who has a .364 batting average, led off the eighth inning with an infield single. Two batters later, designated hitter Ryan Delgado smacked a two-run home run over the wall in center field to give the RedHawks a 7-1 lead.

“We’re offensively doing enough to win the game, but I would like to see the pitching be a little bit sharper,” Simunic said.

NOTES: Right-hander Aaron Shafer

(7-5, 5.89 ERA) is set to start today for the RedHawks. Rockland is scheduled to counter with right-hander Will Hassett (2-1, 6.43 ERA). … Simunic said the RedHawks may try a six-man starting rotation down the stretch to help give his starters a little extra rest. … The RedHawks have a 28-16 record at Newman Outdoor Field this season.

ROCKLAND REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Scma 1b 4 0 0 0 Penprse ss 3 1 0 0

Kraft ss 4 1 1 0 Stovall lf 4 1 1 1

Brchld dh 4 1 1 0 Jackson cf 4 1 1 0

Martinz 3b 5 0 0 1 Campbll 3b 3 2 3 1

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

Smith lf 5 0 1 1 Delgdo dh 4 1 1 2

Valncia cf 4 0 2 0 Rdriguz 1b 4 0 1 0

Millnder rf 0 0 0 0 Jennings c 4 0 0 0

Alvino c 3 0 0 0 Cota 2b 2 1 0 0

Totals 33 3 6 3 Totals 31 7 8 6

Rockland 000 000 012–3 6 0

RedHawks 013 010 02x–7 8 2

E–Penprase (21), Rodriguez (12). LOB-Rockland 12, RedHawks 4. 2b-Brachold (1), Smith (1), Jackson (23), Campbell 2 (19). HR-Delgado (16). SB-Valencia 2 (3), Millender (2), Campbell (2). DP-RedHawks 2, Rockland 0.

ROCKLAND

IP H R ER BB SO

Velasquez, L 7 6 5 4 3 5

Santana 1 2 2 2 0 1

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Burnside, W 5Xc 3 0 0 6 8

Harris 1Xc 1 1 1 2 2

Fuqua, S 1Xc 2 2 2 0 2

Umpires–Home: McCaffrey. First: Bakke. Third: Linton. Time–2:54. A – 3,992.


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