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Eric Peterson, Published June 29 2013

RedHawks cruise past Kansas City with power surge

FARGO – A pro wrestling aficionado, starting pitcher Jake Laber felt the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks had elements of superstars Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan in their performance Saturday at Newman Outdoor Field.

The RedHawks cracked five home runs to “body slam” the Kansas City T-Bones and cruise to a 17-0 victory in American Association baseball before a sellout crowd of 4,875 fans.

Laber pitched six scoreless innings about a block away from the Fargodome, which was hosting a WWE event Saturday evening.

“I should have gone after the sixth inning,” Laber joked. “But, no, I’m happy to be here, man.”

The RedHawks (25-17) have won five consecutive games to remain in first place the North Division. F-M has played like a “main-eventer” as of late, winning nine of its past 10 games.

“I just sit back and watch it,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “Some days you got it. Other days, you don’t have it.”

Laber held the T-Bones to five hits, pitching into the seventh inning before he was lifted. The lefty, who has been a wrestling fan since grade school, struck out six batters and walked two to earn the victory.

When asked what pro wrestler his performance Saturday was most like, Laber responded:

“I would like to think it’s a lot like Chris Jericho in the sense of thinking it through and putting a lot of thought into your work,” Laber said with a laugh.

Laber compared the way the RedHawks offense played to the legendary Hogan.

“He was the man,” Laber said of the dude behind Hulkamania. “He was strong. He was a hero. He was powerful. He always won.”

The RedHawks used the long ball to help “pile drive” the T-Bones. F-M cracked five home runs. Third baseman Ronnie Bourquin cranked a pair of long balls to spark the power outburst. Bourquin started the scoring with a two-run blast in the second inning.

The RedHawks nearly forced the T-Bones into “submission” with a 10-run seventh inning. Keith Brachold and Buddy Sosnoskie each smacked three-run home runs during that frame.

Kansas City manager Kenny Hook turned “heel” in the seventh inning, getting ejected from the game for arguing a call. Hooks left the field with boos raining down from the crowd.

Second baseman C.J. Retherford delivered the “finishing move” in the eighth inning. His two-run home run gave the RedHawks a 17-0 lead.

While Laber was happy to play the “baby face” at Newman on Saturday night, the former Fargo North and North Dakota State standout also wished the schedule would have allowed him to see the pro wrestling show.

“As soon as I found out they were coming though, I checked our schedule,” Laber said with a smile. “I’ve been a fan since I first watched WWF (which is now the WWE) Superstars as a 6-year-old. I never stopped.”

NOTES: The RedHawks had a replica jersey giveaway on Saturday night. All 1,000 jerseys were gone in nine minutes. … Right-hander Paul Burnside (3-4, 5.45 ERA) is set to start today for the RedHawks. Kansas City is expected to counter with right-hander Lucas Irvine (1-3, 3.33 ERA). … F-M has three sellouts at Newman this season with Saturday’s season-high crowd of 4,875 fans.

KANSAS CITY REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

K. Jns cf 4 0 2 0 Pnprse ss 3 2 1 1

Godwn ss 4 0 1 0 Enrtsn lf 4 0 1 0

Perez dh 3 0 1 0 Jcksn cf 4 2 1 0

Pdgtt 1b 4 0 1 0 Rthrfrd 2b 5 2 2 4

Sadler rf 4 0 0 0 Brchld 1b 5 2 3 3

B. Jns lf 3 0 1 0 Albrts dh 5 1 2 0

Colmn c 3 0 1 0 Brquin 3b 3 4 2 3

Mlna 2b 3 0 0 0 Jnnngs c 2 1 0 0

Hghtwr 3b 4 0 0 0 Orso c-ph 1 0 0 0

Ssnskie rf 4 3 2 3

Totals 32 0 7 0 Totals 36 17 14 14

KC 000 000 000–0 7 5

FM 021 110 (10)2x–17 14 0

2B–Perez (9), Padgett (17), Alberts (14). HR–Retherford (2), Brachold (8), Bourquin 2 (6), Sosnoskie (4). HP–Jones (2), Bourquin (3). SB–Perez (5), Sosnoskie (6). SF–Penprase (1). LOB–Kansas City 9, RedHawks 2. E–Goodwin 2 (9), Coleman (3), Molina (8), Hightower (1). DP–Kansas City 2, RedHawks 1.

KANSAS CITY

IP H R ER BB SO

Meade, L 6 7 7 3 4 5

Albert Zc 2 5 0 1 0

Robinson Xc 2 3 0 0 1

Hildebrand 1 3 2 2 0 1

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Laber, W 6 5 0 0 2 6

Gutierrez 1 0 0 0 0 0

King 1 2 0 0 0 1

Opsahl 1 0 0 0 1 0

Umpires–Home: Durante. First: Hicks. Third: Morgan. Time–2:51. A–4,875.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com