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Eric Peterson, Published July 27 2013

RedHawks use big inning to power past Sioux City at Newman

FARGO – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks put on an unscheduled fireworks display Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field. That show was a nine-run third inning.

That outburst sparked the RedHawks to an 11-9 American Association victory against the Sioux City Explorers before a sellout crowd of 5,002 fans. The largest crowd at Newman this season was also treated to the scheduled fireworks display postgame.

“We scored a lot of runs,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “I’m glad we did because obviously we needed to score a lot of runs to win the game. I’m not happy how we pitched.

The first-place RedHawks (41-26) maintained their 6½-game lead in the North Division with the victory.

Ronnie Bourquin provided the grand finale for the in-game fireworks. The RedHawks third baseman cracked a grand slam to cap the third inning. That blast staked F-M to a 9-3 lead. Bourquin also led off the third inning with an infield single, lining a ball off the pitcher.

Bourquin finished 4-for-5 to lift his season average to .305. He was recently moved into the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

“He gets good pitches,” Simunic said. “He takes a lot of pitches. He’s become a really good No. 2 hitter.”

Saturday’s grand slam was the first Bourquin has hit in his professional and college career. Bourquin, 28, wasn’t sure if he hit a grand slam in high school. The RedHawks have hit five grand slams this season.

“That’s my first grand slam of my career,” Bourquin said. “It’s something that we’ve actually talked about. I just happened to run into one I guess.”

The RedHawks built an 11-6 lead in the fifth inning after center fielder Nic Jackson smacked a majestic two-run blast over the wall in right-center field.

The Explorers made the game interesting with three runs in the ninth inning. A Yusuke Inoguchi RBI single cut the F-M lead to 11-9 with two outs in the top of the ninth. Bryan Pounds followed with a deep fly out to right field that ended the game.

RedHawks starter Jake Laber (5-5) earned the victory, pitching five innings. The left-hander allowed six runs, including five earned, on nine hits. F-M reliever Nathan Kilcrease had a solid outing, pitching three innings of scoreless, one-hit relief.

“We pitched terribly except for one guy,” Simunic said. “Kilcrease came in and settled the game down. The other people, they must be in a comfort zone. This is going to get a little tougher as we move through the month of August. … We’re going to have to be a little bit better team as we move forward.”

NOTES: Right-hander Paul Burnside (5-5, 5.42 ERA) is slated to start today for the RedHawks. Sioux City is expected to counter with right-hander Dan Jurik (1-8, 4.42 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. … The RedHawks have a 19-13 home record this season. … Saturday’s crowd of 5,002 fans was a season-high and also the sixth sellout this season.

SIOUX CITY REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Mesa cf 3 1 1 0 Pnprs ss 6 2 3 0

Kskddn ss 4 0 0 0 Brqun 3b 5 2 4 4

Martnz ph 1 1 0 0 Jcksn cf 3 2 2 2

Judah rf 5 1 2 1 Rthrfrd 2b 5 0 1 1

Gllghr dh 5 0 2 2 Brchld 1b 5 1 0 0

Mrton 1b 4 2 1 0 Albrts dh 3 1 2 1

Ingchi lf 4 1 1 1 Ssnski rf 5 1 1 1

Pounds 3b 5 1 2 0 Enrtsn lf 3 1 2 2

Young 2b 3 1 1 3 Jnnngs c 5 1 2 0

Totals 38 9 12 8 Totals 40 11 17 11

SC 003 210 003–9 12 0

FM 009 020 00x–11 17 4

2B–Judah (9), Espinosa (7). HR–Bourquin (9), Jackson (4). SF–Young (1). LOB–Sioux City 7, RedHawks 11. E–Penprase (9), Bourquin (12), Retherford (9), Sosnoskie (1). DP–Sioux City 1.

SIOUX CITY

IP H R ER BB SO

Olson, L 2Zc 11 8 8 1 0

Rodriguez 3Xc 5 3 3 2 4

Stewart 2 1 0 0 3 1

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Laber, W 5 9 6 5 1 3

Kilcrease 3 1 0 0 1 2

Johnson Zc 1 2 0 1 0

Harris Xc 1 1 0 0 0

Umpires–Home: Krauss. First: Ballou. Third: Pascucci. Time–3:06.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com