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Eric Peterson, Published September 05 2012

Ramon sparks Winnipeg past RedHawks in playoff opener

FARGO – Amos Ramon admitted he was thinking double when the ball left his bat in the seventh inning Wednesday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

The result was much better than that.

The Winnipeg third baseman cracked a two-run home run in the seventh that pushed his team into the lead for good. That big fly, which sailed over the wall in center field, sparked the Goldeyes to a 4-2 victory against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the first round of the American Association baseball playoffs.

“I put a good swing on it,” said Ramon, who went

4-for-4 with three RBIs. “You don’t know with this place. You never know if it is going to go out or anything. I hit it and I was thinking double the whole time. Luckily it went over.”

The Goldeyes took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series.

“I would say there’s some urgency,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said of today’s Game 2 at Newman. “It will be a pivotal game for us.”

RedHawks starter Tyler Herron (0-1) was tagged with the loss, despite a solid outing. The right-hander scattered seven hits over 7Zc innings, allowing three runs. Herron struck out seven batters and walked one. Herron limited the Goldeyes to one run through six innings.

“I thought Herron pitched a good game except for one pitch,” Simunic said.

That one pitch was to Ramon, who came to the plate with a runner on second base and two outs in the seventh. Ramon drove a Herron fastball over the 408-foot sign in center field. That gave the Goldeyes a 3-2 lead.

“He left it over the plate and Ramon hit it out,” Simunic said. “Ramon is a pretty good hitter. He’s a seasoned guy. He’s been around. … If you watch their box scores, he gets a lot of big hits for them at the bottom of their lineup.”

Goldeyes starter Ace Walker earned the victory, pitching into the seventh inning. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in six-plus innings. Walker pitched around six walks.

The RedHawks got their runs off Walker early thanks to American Association Player of the Year Nic Jackson. Jackson cracked a two-run single into right field in the first inning that gave F-M a 2-0 lead. The RedHawks got two of their four hits off Walker in the first frame.

“Ace Walker was pretty good in the middle of the game,” Simunic said. “I thought he used his changeup real well and was able to keep us off balance. We didn’t get a lot going from the first inning on.”

The RedHawks had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Left fielder Buddy Sosnoskie came to the plate with runners on second and third base and one out. Sosnoskie lifted a fly ball into medium left field. Winnipeg left fielder Kyle Day caught the ball before making a strong throw to home plate. RedHawks catcher Todd Jennings tagged from third base, but was tagged out at the plate.

“That was a huge save right there,” Ramon said. “It kind of took the momentum away from them.”

That double play ended the inning as Winnipeg protected its 3-2 lead. Ramon added an RBI single in the ninth inning for the final margin.

The RedHawks had a 12-6 record against the Goldeyes during the regular season.

“It’s going to be a crazy series with them,” Ramon said. “Who cares what happened in the season. We’ve just to come out and play and keep playing.”

NOTES: Right-hander Alex Caldera (10-4, 3.50 ERA) is set to start today’s Game 2 for the RedHawks. Winnipeg is expected to counter with left-hander Chris Salamida (5-7, 3.37 ERA). … Winnipeg has a 5-3 record at Newman Outdoor Field this season. The RedHawks had a 9-2 record at Shaw Park during the regular season.

WINNIPEG REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Kndall ss 4 0 1 1 Pnprse ss 3 1 1 0

Robrsn cf 4 0 1 0 Ssnskie lf 4 1 1 0

deCstr 2b 4 0 0 0 Jckson cf 3 0 1 2

Cnzres dh 4 0 0 0 Cmpbll 3b 3 0 0 0

Mzzola 1b 4 0 0 0 Gaston rf 3 0 0 0

Alen c 3 2 2 0 Dlgado dh 4 0 1 0

Coles rf 4 0 1 0 Rdrguz 1b 4 0 0 0

Day lf 3 1 0 0 Jnnings c 4 0 1 0

Ramon 3b 4 1 4 3 Cota 2b 1 0 0 0

Totals 34 4 9 4 Totals 29 2 5 2

Winnipeg 001 000 201 –4 9 1

RedHawks 200 000 000 –2 5 1

E–Day (1), Cota (1). DP–Winnipeg 2, RedHawks 2. LOB–Winnipeg 5, RedHawks 6. 2B–Ramon 2 (2), Sosnoskie (1). HR–Ramon (1). SB–Alen (1), Coles (1). CS–Jackson (1).

WINNIPEG

IP H R ER BB SO

Walker W 6 4 2 2 6 4

Beuning L 3 1 0 0 0 3

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Herron L 7Zc 7 3 3 1 7

Fuqua 1 1 1 0 0 0

Harris Zc 0 0 0 0 1

Massingham Zc 1 0 0 0 0

Umpires–Home: Thigpen. First: Hicks. Third: McCaffrey. Time–2:34. A–2,178.


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

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