« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Jim Bender / Winnipeg (Man.) Sun , Published September 07 2012

Winnipeg eliminates RedHawks from AA playoffs

WINNIPEG, Man. – Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney couldn’t wait to give a reporter a good-natured dig.

“You thought we shouldn’t have wasted our gas money driving down there? Isn’t that what I read?” he asked with a laugh, referring to a prediction that the Goldeyes had no chance against the best team in the American Association during the regular season.

His team had just beaten the heavily favored Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 4-1 before only 5,025 witnesses at Shaw Park on Friday night to sweep the best-of-5 semifinal series 3-0.

“That Fargo team is the best one I’ve seen in 10 years,” Forney said. “They’re that good and that kind of says something about my team. That team is pretty complete over there and for us to beat them the way they did, they should be proud of themselves.”

The Goldeyes advance to the championship final against the Wichita Wingnuts in a five-game series that will start in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Winnipeg pitcher Matt Rusch held one of the most powerful teams in the league to one run on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

“That felt really good,” Rusch said. “That’s something you think about in spring training and the beginning of the year. You want to put yourself in that situation and for me, personally, I crave those opportunities.”

Fargo tied the league record with 65 wins on the season.

“Of course you’re disappointed, especially after the year we had,” said Fargo catcher Ryan Delgado, who had the Hawks’ only RBI. “They played a good game and they played a good series. They came back and beat us (Thursday). We had chances to score. We just couldn’t get the job done.”

Losing the first two in Fargo put them on their heels.

“It’s never easy when you drop the first two at home,” Delgado said. “But we had confidence in ourselves. But they got some timely hitting and we had our opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize.”

The Goldeyes broke out for four runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead, thanks to an eerie error and some timely hitting.

Designated hitter Barbaro Canizares led off with a single and first baseman Josh Mazzola walked. Catcher Luis Alen bunted them over and left fielder Mike Coles was given an intentional walk. Left fielder Kyle Day then hit a sharp grounder down the first-base line and Fargo first baseman Marcos Rodriguez misplayed the ball, allowing it to go between his legs. Canizares and Mazzola scored with Coles and Day on third and second.

Winnipeg third baseman Amos Ramon then smacked a two-run single, scoring both Coles and Day.

“Oh man, it’s a big series,” said Ramon. “A lot of people doubted us and oh, that was nice. That team, you can just never count them out, ever, and for us to win in front of all these fans was awesome. I’ve never heard them so loud here.”

REDHAWKS WINNIPEG

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Pnprse ss 4 0 0 0 Kendll ss 4 0 0 0

Sonske rf 4 0 0 0 Robersn cf 4 0 1 0

Jacksn cf 3 1 1 0 dCaster 2b 4 0 1 0

Cmpbl 3b 3 0 1 0 Cnizres dh 4 1 1 0

Delgdo c 4 0 2 1 Mzzola 1b 3 1 1 0

Gastn dh 4 0 1 0 Alen c 3 0 0 0

Rdrigz 1b 4 0 1 0 Coles rf 1 1 0 0

Egglstn lf 4 0 1 0 Day lf 3 1 0 1

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

Totals 34 1 8 1 Totals 27 4 5 3

RedHawks 100 000 000 –1 8 2

Winnipeg 000 400 00x –4 5 0

E– Jackson (1), Rodriguez (1). LOB – RedHawks 8, Winnipeg 5. 2B – Jackson (2), Cota (1). SB – Rodriguez (1). DP – RedHawks 1, Winnipeg 1.

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Burnside, L 6 5 4 3 5 1

Fuqua 2 0 0 0 0 2

WINNIPEG

IP H R ER BB SO

Rusch, W 7 8 1 1 1 5

Van Leur 0 0 0 0 1 0

Allen Xc 0 0 0 0 1

Baldwin Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Beuning, S 1 0 0 0 0 0

Umpires–Home: McCaffrey. First: Linton. Third: Thigpen. Time–2:54. A–5,025.