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Eric Peterson, Published June 27 2013

RedHawks back in first place after solid 10-game road trip

FARGO – The only thing hotter than the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on a recent 10-game baseball road trip was probably their bus.

For a good portion of Fargo-Moorhead’s road trip to Quebec and New Jersey, the team used a bus with the air conditioning not working.

“It was just one of those things you have to deal with, and I think we dealt with it pretty good,” said RedHawks shortstop Zach Penprase. “As soon as you walked on, everybody was sweaty right away.”

That heat translated to the baseball diamond with the RedHawks, who are in the American Association, going 8-2 in interleague play against three teams from the Can-Am League.

“Get ready to play the varsity again when you come back,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “The teams out there were a little off the pace.”

The RedHawks return to American Association play at 7:02 tonight at Newman Outdoor Field against the Kansas City T-Bones. F-M (23-17) is in first place in the North Division after its strong road swing. The team had a .500 heading into the trip.

“It’s great for us,” said RedHawks third baseman Ronnie Bourquin. “We were playing pretty good baseball for the most part when we left. Any time you can go 8-2 in 10 games, you’re doing something right.”

Bourquin has scorched opposing pitchers over the past seven games, batting .522 (12 of 23) during that span. The left-handed swinging Bourquin had five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs during that seven-game window.

Bourquin helped fuel an offense that averaged 7.7 runs per game during the 10-game road trip, which ended Wednesday with a

4-2 victory at Newark, N.J.

The team had an off day on Thursday, flying back into Fargo from Newark.

All told, the RedHawks took a total of four flights and spent nearly 600 miles on a bus during the road trip. The final two games in Newark had starts of around 10:30 a.m.

“My team rose to the occasion for that and didn’t let that bother them,” Simunic said of the morning baseball. “They were very professional.”

The RedHawks started the trip in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, on June 17. That was followed by a series against the New Jersey Jackals in Little Falls before the RedHawks headed to Newark.

“I know I am ready to be back in Fargo,” Penprase said. “As soon as I landed in Quebec, I was pretty much ready to come home already.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com