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Eric Peterson, Published July 15 2013

RedHawks power through rain delay, power outage to earn home victory

FARGO – Newman Outdoor Field did its best Superdome impression on Monday night.

Newman went dark in the bottom of the eighth inning similar to the power outage during Super Bowl XLVII in early February.

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks dominated while the lights were on, powering to an 11-3 victory against the Sioux Falls Canaries in American Association baseball.

“That goes to show you there is always something new that can happen on a baseball field,” RedHawks catcher Todd Jennings said. “It was kind of weird to see just the lights go out, but it was cool to get a win.”

The RedHawks (33-23) moved to 10 games above .500 with the victory to build a 4.5 game lead over second-place St. Paul in the North Division.

F-M held an 11-3 lead with two outs in the eighth inning when the stadium went dark. The power outage was caused due to an issue with the stadium’s main breaker, said Brad Thom, the chief executive officer for the RedHawks.

“I’ve been in a game before where there were no lights to start the game,” said Jennings, who has played professional baseball for 10 seasons. “But never in the middle of a game like that.”

The power outage caused a delay that lasted 57 minutes. The game, which started 48 minutes late due to rain, ended at 11:30 p.m.

“It was a fun day,” Jennings said with a smile.

The power outage interrupted an electric five-run eighth inning for the RedHawks. F-M center fielder Nic Jackson sparked that rally with a three-run triple off the wall in center field that gave his team a 10-3 lead. C.J. Retherford drove in Jackson from third base with a two-out single to left field to cap the rally. The power went out moments after Retherford’s RBI single.

“Everybody was cracking jokes having a good time,” Jennings said.

The RedHawks took control in the fourth inning with a four-run rally. Zach Penprase capped that surge with a two-run home run over the wall in left field. That gave F-M a 6-1 lead.

That proved to be all the run support RedHawks starter Alex Caldera would need. Caldera pitched into the seventh inning before he was lifted with no outs. The right-hander allowed three earned runs on four hits. Caldera struck out seven batters and walked two. He threw 105 pitches, including 63 strikes.

NOTES: Left-hander Jake Laber (4-5, 3.01 ERA) is slated to start today for the RedHawks. Sioux Falls is expected to counter with right-hander Ben Moore (6-3, 3.65 ERA). … The RedHawks have a 14-11 home record this season. … RedHawks manager Doug Simunic was ejected from the game in the seventh inning. … The RedHawks improved to 14-11 at Newman this season.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com