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Eric Peterson, Published July 09 2013

Jackson, RedHawks rally past Sioux City at Newman

FARGO – Doug Simnuic liked what he saw from relief pitcher Joe Harris on Tuesday, so the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks manager let Harris pitch the final three innings.

The left-hander’s scoreless relief helped the RedHawks rally for a 6-5 victory against the Sioux City Explorers in American Association baseball before 3,545 fans at Newman Outdoor Field.

“He’s one of the premier relief pitchers in the league,” Simunic said. “He mixes three pitches. He’s not afraid to throw a changeup behind in the count.”

The RedHawks (30-21) snapped a two-game losing streak and became the first team in the North Division to reach 30 victories.

F-M has a day off today before starting a four-game series at Gary SouthShore on Thursday. The RedHawks earned a split of their four-game series against Sioux City with Tuesday’s victory.

“It was a game that we needed,” said Harris, who lowered his season ERA to 1.59. “We needed to split the series here going with a day off. We needed to get a little bit of momentum back.”

The RedHawks spotted the Explorers five runs Tuesday before charging back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Shortstop Zach Penprase sparked the F-M rally with a two-run double off the wall in right field, scoring Tim Alberts and Ronnie Bourquin. That cut the Sioux City lead to 5-2.

Two batters later, center fielder Nic Jackson capped the game-changing inning with a towering two-run home run over the wall in center field. That blast tied the score at 5-5.

“We had a feeling down in the bullpen something was going to happen,” Harris said. “It’s really hard to hold our offense down.”

Jackson continued his clutch play in the seventh inning, cracking a two-out RBI single into right field. That gave the RedHawks a 6-5 lead.

“They knew they had to dig down and get something done,” Simunic said. “At 5-0, we had our chins on the end of the bench. We were ready to cash in.”

Harris made sure the comeback held up, allowing just one hit. He pitched a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth inning to earn the victory. Harris set down the Explorers in order in the eighth and ninth innings. He threw 37 pitches, including 25 strikes.

“It’s important for the morale and the character of the team that we can do this,” Simunic said of the comeback. “We have a chance to be a front-running team. We want to stay up there.”

The RedHawks have 13-11 record at home this season with a 17-10 road mark.

“We’ve had our struggles here,” Simunic said of Newman Outdoor Field. “We don’t seem to hit as well here as we do on the road. If we can try to get that figured out … I think that would be pretty good for the stretch.”

NOTES: Left-hander Jake Laber (4-4, 2.82 ERA) is scheduled to start Thursday for the RedHawks at Gary SouthShore. … Nic Jackson extended his on-base to 28 consecutive games after reaching on an error in the fourth inning on Tuesday.

SIOUX CITY REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Kskdn 2b 5 0 1 0 Pnprase ss 4 2 2 0

Baroso ss 3 1 1 0 Enertson lf 4 1 1 1

Barrows rf 3 1 1 2 Jackson cf 4 1 2 3

Murton 1b 4 1 1 0 Rthrford 2b 4 0 2 0

Pounds 3b 4 1 3 1 Brachold 1b 4 0 0 0

Inoguchi cf 4 1 1 0 Alberts dh 4 1 1 0

Espnosa c 4 0 1 2 Burquin 3b 2 1 0 0

Brinones lf 2 0 0 0 Ourso c 3 0 0 0

Marines ph 1 0 0 0 Sonoskie rf 3 0 0 0

Totals 34 5 9 5 Totals 32 6 8 6

S. CITY 022 010 000 –5 9 1

REDHAWKS 000 050 10x –6 8 1

E–Barroso (6), Retherford (7). LOB – Sioux City 5, RedHawks 3. DP – Sioux City none, RedHawks 1. 2b – Pounds (14), Inoguchi (17), Penprase (6). HR – Barrows (7), Jackson (3). SB – Penprase (22). CS – Briones (1).

SIOUX CITY

IP H R ER BB SO

Jarvis 6 6 5 5 1 6

Kennedy, L 2 2 1 1 0 2

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Caldera 5 8 5 5 1 5

King 1 0 0 0 1 0

Harris, L 3 1 0 0 0 2

Umpires–Home: Kreps. First: O’Leary. Third: Sonntag. Time–2:19. A–3,545.


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com