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Eric Peterson, Published June 16 2013

Gary SouthShore uses big seventh inning to rally past RedHawks

FARGO – The bullpen didn’t provide much relief for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on a windy Sunday afternoon at Newman Outdoor Field.

Gary SouthShore erupted for 11 runs over the final three innings, with all that production coming off F-M relief pitchers. That late surge vaulted the RailCats to a 14-11 victory in American Association baseball before 4,171 fans.

“It was just basically boat race,” RedHawks catcher Todd Jennings said of Gary’s late-game rally. “The wind picked up. … Everything seemed to fall.”

With wind gusts of more than 30 miles per hour, runs and hits were plentiful. The teams combined for 37 hits, with 21 of those coming off Gary SouthShore bats. The RedHawks (15-15) built a six-run lead through six innings, but were unable to quiet the RailCats in the final innings.

“Offensively, we took advantage of our home park for the day, but obviously, our pitching didn’t get the memo that when the wind’s blowing, you got to keep the ball down and on the ground,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said.

The RedHawks took a 9-3 lead in the fifth inning after center fielder Mitch Einertson laced a two-run double into left field. That capped a three-run inning. Einertson finished with four hits and also scored two runs.

Gary stormed back into the game with an eight-run seventh inning. The RailCats had seven consecutive batters reach base during one point during that game-changing inning. Designated hitter Cristian Guerrero capped the seventh with a three-run double that gave Gary an 11-9 lead.

The RedHawks used four different relief pitchers in the seventh inning, allowing seven hits. F-M also committed one error in that frame.

“I’m kind of speechless right now because it was such a long game and there was no pitching,” Jennings said.

The RedHawks countered with two runs in their half of the seventh inning to tie the score at 11-11. Gary, however, added three runs in the ninth inning to cap its comeback. A Brian Kolb sacrifice fly gave the RailCats a 14-11 lead.

“I thought we were doing a lot of good things, but we took it for granted,” Simunic said.

RedHawks starter Taylor Stanton gave his team a quality start, allowing three runs through six innings. The right-hander scattered 10 hits, but Stanton was lifted from the game before the start of the seventh inning having thrown 105 pitches.

“In hindsight, if I had to do it all over again I probably would have pushed the starter farther,” Simunic said. “I’m kicking myself a little bit for that.”

The RedHawks start a 10-game road trip against Can-Am League teams today in Trois-Rivieres (Three Rivers), Quebec. F-M was scheduled to fly out of Fargo at 5:45 a.m. today with a connection in Chicago before landing in Montreal. From there, the team has to bus around 90 miles to Trois-Rivieres.

“We have a big travel day ahead of us,” Simunic said. “It’s going to be a rough trip. We know that. … We are going to have to suck it up at .500 and try to have a better than .500 road trip.”

NOTES: Right-handed pitcher Alex Caldera is scheduled to start today for the RedHawks against Trois-Rivieres. That game is slated to start at 6:05 p.m.

GARY REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Klein lf 6 1 3 1 Pnprse ss 5 1 1 0

Mssaro rf 6 2 2 1 Elnrtson cf 6 2 4 2

Gurero dh 6 2 3 3 Jackson dh 6 2 3 1

Maddox c 5 2 2 0 Alberts rf 5 1 2 5

Pulfer 1b 5 2 3 3 Brchold 1b 5 2 3 2

Kolb 3b 5 2 3 1 Rthrford 2b 5 1 2 0

Mrtinez cf 5 1 2 2 Burquin 3b 3 1 1 0

Mtchell ss 4 1 2 2 Jennings c 5 1 0 0

Tucker 2b 3 1 1 1 Ssnoskie lf 3 0 0

Totals 45 14 21 14 Totals 43 11 16 11

GARY 000 300 803 –14 21 2

REDHAWKS 420 030 200 –11 16 1

E–Pulfer (4), Mitchell (8), Brachold (4). LOB – Gary 11, RedHawks 10. DP – Gary 2, RedHawks 1. 2b – Guerrero (9), Maddox (4), Kolb (2), Einertson (9), Jackson (7), Brachold 5 (5). 3b – Klein (3). HR – Alberts (8), Brachold (5). SB – Martinez (8), Retherford (1).

GARY

IP H R ER BB SO

Coombs 4Xc 9 9 6 4 6

Sewitt 1Zc 3 0 0 0 0

Durham Xc 1 2 2 0 2

Adkins Zc 2 0 0 0 0

Zavada, W 2 1 0 0 0 2

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Stanton 6 10 3 3 4 2

Levitt Zc 4 4 4 0 0

Opsahl 0 2 2 1 0 0

Kilcrease 0 0 1 0 1 0

Harris, L 2 3 2 1 0 2

Johnson 0 2 2 2 2 0

King Xc 0 0 0 0 0

Umpires–Home: Ballou. First: Pascucci. Third: Krauss. Time–3:35. A–4,171.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com