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Eric Peterson, Published June 03 2013

RedHawks stay hot, defeat Lincoln

FARGO – Nathan Kilcrease proved to be the perfect middle man for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Monday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

Kilcrease retired all five batters he faced to get to the ninth inning and the back of the bullpen. His electric performance helped the RedHawks earn a 3-1 victory against the Lincoln Saltdogs in American Association baseball before an announced crowd of 2,504 fans.

“He knows the back-end role,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said of Kilcrease. “He knows the set-up and the close roles. He’s not flustered by going out there with the game on the line. That’s big to have that mentality and that mindset.”

Kilcrease struck out four of the five batters he faced and also induced a groundout. The 5-foot-6 right-hander threw 19 pitches, including 14 strikes.

“I was really working off my slider tonight,” Kilcrease said. “I was starting it in the zone and making it break down out of the zone. … Tonight it was by far my best pitch.”

The RedHawks (9-9) have climbed back to .500 after losing eight of their first 10 games this season. F-M has won four games in a row, including seven of its past eight games.

“We dug ourselves a hole and we’re digging ourselves out,” Simunic said.

The RedHawks got solid outings from all four pitchers they sent to the mound against the Saltdogs. Left-handed starter Jake Laber pitched into the seventh inning and allowed one run, which was unearned. Laber, who was pitching on three day’s rest, gave up three hits and struck out three batters. Laber hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past two starts, lowering his ERA to 2.05.

“It’s a tough thing to do, throwing these guys on short rest,” Simunic said. “I’m very impressed on how he’s been able to keep his velocity. … If he can keep doing what he’s doing, he will be a breath of fresh air for us.”

The RedHawks scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning thanks the third baseman Ronnie Bourquin. He led off the inning with a double to right field. With two outs in the inning, Bourquin broke for third base while Lincoln starter Pete Parise still had the ball on the mound.

Parise’s throw to third base got away from Mike Provencher and allowed Bourquin to continue home to give F-M a 2-0 lead. Parise was credited with an error on the play.

The RedHawks held a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning when Kilcrease entered the game. Lincoln had a runner on second base with one out. Kilcrease struck out the next two batters to end the potential game-tying rally.

“He brings a good slider to the equation,” Simunic said of Kilcrease. “He made some guys look bad with it.”

NOTES: The RedHawks made three roster moves prior to Monday’s game. They signed infielder C.J. Retherford, traded infielder Ryan Pineda and released second baseman Jose Garcia. Pineda was traded to the Grand Prairie AirHogs for a player to be named later. ... Right-hander Paul Burnside (0-3, 9.48 ERA) is slated to start today for the RedHawks. Lincoln is expected to counter with left-hander Nathan Moreau (0-2, 6.42 ERA). … RedHawks right-handed pitcher Alex Caldera has been named American Association pitcher of the week. Caldera went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts last week.

LINCOLN REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Carroll cf 4 0 0 0 Pnprse ss 4 0 0 0

Dougls rf 4 0 0 0 Cesar 2b 4 1 2 0

Espnsa 2b 4 1 2 0 Jackson cf 3 0 0 0

Gac dh 4 0 1 0 Alberts rf 3 1 1 0

Raben 1b 2 0 0 1 Brchold 1b 3 0 1 1

Frgatch lf 3 0 0 0 Rtherfrd dh 4 0 1 1

Prvnchr 3b 2 0 0 1 Burquin 3b 3 1 2 0

Mayo c 3 0 0 0 Jennings c 3 0 1 0

Gomez ss 2 0 0 0 Ssnoskie lf 3 0 1 0

Totals 28 1 3 1 Totals 30 3 9 2

LINCOLN 000 000 100 –1 3 1

REDHAWKS 000 110 01x –3 9 1

E–Jackson (2), Parise (1). LOB- RedHawks 6, Lincoln 3. DP – RedHawks 1 , Lincoln 1. SB –Cesar (1). CS – Bourquin (1). 2b – Espinosa (4), Alberts (6), Bourquin (4).

LINCOLN

IP H R ER BB SO

Parise, L 6Zc 6 2 1 1 2

Spink 1Zc 2 1 1 1 0

Parker Zc 1 0 0 0 0

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Laber, W 6Zc 3 1 0 2 3

Kilcrease 1Xc 0 0 0 0 4

Harris Zc 0 0 0 0 1

Johnson, S Xc 0 0 0 0 1

Umpires–Home: Stegner. First: Linton. Third: Heine. Time–2:18. A–2,504.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com