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Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks manager Doug Simunic gets into an argument with an umpire in the dugout during a rain delay on Thursday at Newman Outdoor Field. Dave Wallis / The Forum

RedHawks shut down Rockland to earn victory

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FARGO – Travis Higgs got drilled in the elbow pad with a pitch Thursday, generating the only offense during a rain-interrupted game at Newman Outdoor Field.

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The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks catcher got plunked with the bases loaded on the first pitch after a nearly three-hour rain delay.

That pushed across the lone run in the RedHawks’ 1-0 victory against the Rockland Boulders in independent baseball before 4,029 fans.

“If we are only going to get one run, that is one way to do it,” RedHawks starting pitcher Jake Laber said with a smile. “We’ll definitely take it.”

The RedHawks (20-13) won two of three games against Rockland, which is in the Can-Am League. F-M starts a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. today on the road against American Association opponent Wichita. The Wingnuts are in first place in the South Division.

Higgs started the game on the bench Thursday, but was inserted into the lineup after first baseman C.J. Retherford was ejected from the game. Retherford was at the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth inning when the game was halted due to rain.

Third-base umpire Andrew Vincent kicked Retherford out of the game as both team gathered in their dugouts to prepare for the delay. Vincent was in the F-M dugout where he ejected Retherford. Moments later, RedHawks manager Doug Simunic was also tossed from the game, arguing with Vincent in the dugout.

Simunic did not comment on the ejection.

The delay lasted 2 hours, 42 minutes. Higgs came to the plate with a two balls, no strikes count. The first pitch Higgs saw after the long delay struck him near his elbow.

“I was taking all the way,” Higgs said. “One run was enough today, and I am glad I could contribute to this win.”

That proved to be enough offense for the RedHawks, who had three pitchers combine on a seven-hit shutout. Laber pitched the first five innings, but was removed from the game after the long rain delay. Left-handed reliever Joe Harris pitched three scoreless innings coming out of the delay, getting the ball to right-handed closer Nate Garcia. Garcia allowed a leadoff hit in the ninth inning, but retired the next three batters he faced to earn his 10th save this season.

“I thought we made the most of our situation,” RedHawks pitching coach Freddy Flores said.

Laber was frustrated that he was unable to go beyond five innings due to the rain delay. The left-hander scattered four hits and faced the minimum through four innings, taking advantage of two double plays. Laber threw 61 pitches, including 35 strikes.

“I definitely would have loved to come back out after the rain delay and keep going, but it got to be a little bit longer,” Laber said. “There was still something in the tank there, but the bullpen did a great job.”

ROCKLAND REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Nndn 2b 4 0 1 0 Pnprse ss 3 1 1 0

DJsus cf 2 0 1 0 Boqruin 3b 4 0 1 0

Stvall rf 4 0 0 0 Carroll lf 3 0 1 0

Edmsn 1b 4 0 3 0 Rthrfrd 1b 2 0 1 0

Nystor ss 2 0 0 0 Higgs c-ph 1 0 0 1

Malney c 2 0 0 0 Jackson cf 4 0 0 0

O’Hare 3b 3 0 0 0 Prmre 1b-c 3 0 1 0

Crdullo lf 3 0 1 0 Alberts dh 3 0 0 0

Arrojo dh 2 0 1 0 Newton 2b 3 0 1 0 Kskaden rf 3 0 0 0

Totals 26 0 7 0 Totals 29 1 6 1

R 000 000 000 –0 7 0

FM 000 010 00x –1 6 1

E–Paramore (1). LOB-Rockland 4, RedHawks 7. DP-Rockland 0, RedHawks 4. 2b-Edmondson (2). SB-DeJesus (3), Maloney (1), Newton (4). CS-DeJesus (1), Arrojo (1), Penprase (3).

ROCKLAND

IP H R ER BB SO

Harrold, L 4 2/3 6 1 1 2 1

Roe 2 0 0 0 0 2

Gilblair 1 1/3 0 0 0 0 0

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Laber, W 5 4 0 0 1 2

Harris 3 2 0 0 1 0

Garcia, S 1 1 0 0 0 0

Umpires–Home: Darius Ghani. First: Harrison Silverman. Third: Andrew Vincent. Time–2:08. A–4,029.

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Eric Peterson
Peterson covers small college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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