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Eric Peterson, Published June 15 2013

Brachold blast lifts RedHawks to victory at Newman

FARGO – A rookie pitcher gave the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks a chance for success Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

Brian Ernst pitched six solid innings in his pro debut and his teammates played long ball late.

That blend vaulted the RedHawks to a 4-3 victory against Gary SouthShore in American Association baseball before 4,087 fans.

“He’s fiery,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said of Ernst. “He brought a lot to the table. There weren’t a lot of good swings on him.”

The RedHawks (15-14) snapped a

three-game losing streak and moved a game above .500.

“I had a lot of nerves. I tried to slow the game down a little bit,” said Ernst, who recently completed his collegiate career at East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University. “The first couple innings I didn’t have my command.”

The 6-foot, 215-pound Ernst got a no decision in his first professional start. The right-hander gave up two unearned runs on four hits. He struck out two and walked two batters. Ernst threw 110 pitches, including 63 strikes.

“We’re pleasantly pleased with what he’s been able to do,” Simunic said. “We want to see him again.”

The RedHawks smacked solo home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to secure the victory. Buddy Sosnoskie cracked a home run to right-center field in the seventh that gave F-M a 3-2 lead. Keith Brachold added a home run to right field in the eighth that gave the RedHawks a 4-3 lead and proved to be the game-winner. Both Sosnoskie and Brachold are left-handed bats.

“That’s big for us,” Simunic said. “We have to utilize our left-handed hitters in our ballpark.”

The RedHawks continue to struggle to produce offense early in games. F-M didn’t score until the seventh inning in Friday’s 6-4 loss against Gary. The RedHawks were held scoreless through five innings in Saturday’s victory.

“We’re just not collectively doing anything at the beginning of the game,” Simunic said. “Our pitching is good enough to hold us (in games) so we can have a chance, which we did today.”

Ernst allowed the only two runs of his outing in the second inning. Gary had the bases loaded and two outs when lead-off hitter Adam Klein came to the plate. Klein tapped a grounder to RedHawks third baseman Ronnie Bourquin, who made a running throw to first base. The throw went wide of the target and two runs scored to give Gary at 2-0 lead.

“That’s baseball,” Ernst said. “Stuff like that happens all the time. You just have to keep pushing through.”

Ernst credited RedHawks catcher Todd Jennings for helping him work through the early nerves. Ernst said his changeup was more effective as the game progressed.

“I won’t say I’m satisfied because you can never be satisfied,” Ernst said. “I always keep working and trying to keep better.”

NOTES: Right-hander Taylor Stanton (3-2, 3.52 ERA) is scheduled to start today for the RedHawks. Gary is expected to counter with right-hander Morgan Coombs (2-0, 4.63 ERA). … The RedHawks have released right-handed pitcher Tyler Hess. Hess had a 9.00 ERA in 10 relief appearances. … Gary manager Greg Tagert was ejected from the game in the seventh inning for arguing a tag-up play at third base.

GARY REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Klein lf 4 1 0 0 Pnprse ss 4 0 0 0

Mssaro rf 4 0 0 0 Einertsn lf 4 0 1 0

Gurero dh 3 0 2 1 Jackson cf 4 1 1 0

Liddle 1b 4 0 0 0 Alberts dh 4 1 0 0

Kolb 3b 3 1 1 0 Brchold 1b 4 1 2 1

Mrtinez cf 4 1 1 0 Rthrford 2b 4 0 1 1

Smith c 2 0 1 0 Buriquin 3b 4 0 1 0

Pulfer ph 1 0 1 0 Jennings c 2 0 0 0

Mitchell ss 3 0 0 0 Sosnskie rf 3 1 1 1

Totals 30 3 7 1 Totals 33 4 7 3

GARY 020 000 010 –3 7 2

REDHAWKS 000 002 11x –4 7 1

E–Liddle 2 (6), Bourquin (5). LOB – RedHawks 8, Gary 8. DP – RedHawks 2, Gary 0. 2b- Guerrero (8), 3b – Smith (1), Tucker (1). HR – Brachold (4), Sosnoskie (2).

GARY

IP H R ER BB SO

Ronick 5Zc 4 2 1 1 2

Durham 1Zc 2 1 1 0 0

Adkins Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Gonzalez, L 1 1 1 1 0

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Ernst 6 4 2 0 2 2

Kilcrease 1 1 1 1 1 0

Harris, W 1 1 0 0 1 1

Johnson, S 1 1 0 0 1 2

Umpires–Home: Krauss. First: Ballou. Third: Pascucci. Time–2:43. A–4,087.


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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at peterson.areavoices.com