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Surging St. Paul edges RedHawks

Fargo-Moorhead’s Jake Laber pitches to St. Paul’s Jake Taylor during the Friday, July 25, 2014 game in Fargo, N.D. Labor broke the record for most innings pitched at Newman Outdoor Field. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Third baseman Henry Wrigley drove in two runs to help lift the surging St. Paul Saints to a 3-2 victory in American Association baseball before a sellout crowd of 4,818 fans.

The Saints (40-26) have won eight consecutive games. The RedHawks (31-35) fell nine games behind St. Paul in the race for the league’s lone wild-card spot.

F-M, which has lost four of its past five games, has 33 games remaining in the regular season.

“It will demoralize people,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “It will make people feel bad.”

The RedHawks threatened in the ninth inning. Petey Paramore came to bat with two outs and runners on second and third base. Paramore lined a ball into the outfield, but the drive was right at St. Paul right fielder Keith Brachold, who made the catch for the game’s final out.

“We couldn’t get the base hit that we needed to fall in,” Paramore said. “We hit some balls hard and just hit it right at them. … We’ve got to try to find a way to get it done a little bit earlier in the game.”

RedHawks starter Jake Laber allowed three earned runs in six innings. The left-hander became the franchise leader in innings pitched. Laber has pitched more than 598 innings to surpass Greg Salvevold on the team’s all-time list.

The Saints scored two runs in the first inning. Wrigley added an RBI double in the third inning that gave the Saints a 3-2 lead. That proved to be enough offense for St. Paul.

“Laber kept us in the game,” Simunic said. “You’ve got to score runs.”

The RedHawks left 13 runners on base. St. Paul starter Nick Barnese pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits. The hard-throwing right-hander also walked four batters. F-M, however, wasn’t able to parlay those base runners into a big inning. The RedHawks scored single runs in the first and second innings.

F-M shortstop Zach Penprase had an RBI single in the second inning that tied the game 2-2. The RedHawks were unable to plate a run in the final seven innings.

“We showed our inability, leaving 13 guys on,” Simunic said. “Our timely hitting isn’t very timely.”

The RedHawks had their first two runners reach base in the ninth inning. C.J. Retherford lined a single into left field to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Saints reliever Mikey Mehlich, however, was able to retire the next three batters to diffuse the threat and close out the game.

“We can’t get that ball to fall over into the gap for us right now,” Paramore said. “We’ve just got to stay on it and hopefully we go on a long streak of getting them in there.”

NOTES: Right-hander Brad Orosey (0-0, 3.37 ERA) is set to start today for the RedHawks. St. Paul is expected to counter with right-hander Jeff Shields (5-4, 3.21 ERA). … Friday’s crowd was the seventh sellout this season at Newman Outdoor Field. … The RedHawks have a 15-14 home record this season.

ST. PAUL                    REDHAWKS

                 ab   r   h   bi                    ab    r  h   bi

Thaut dh     4  0   0    0  Pnrpse ss    5   1  3    1

Maus 2b     4  1   2    0  Brquin 3b     3   0  0    0

Cbrera lf    5  2   3    0  Rthrfrd 2b    4   0  3    0

Wrigley 3b 4  0   2    2  Castro 1b    4   0  1    0

Songco 1b  5  0   0    0  Jckson cf     4   0  0    0

Bigley cf     4  0   2    1  Pramore c   5   0  0    0

Taylor c     4  0   2    0  Tripp rf        3   1  0    0

Childs c     0  0   0    0  Carroll dh    4   0  1    0

Brchold rf   4  0   1    0  Kskdden lf   3   0  1    0

Becker ss  3  0   0    0

Totals      37  3 12    3  Totals       35   2  9    1

SP                      201   000    000 –3  12    2

FM                     110   000    000 –2    9    0

E–Maus (4), Songco (5). DP–St. Paul 2, RedHawks 0. LOB–St. Paul 11, RedHawks 13. 2B–Wrigley (10), Penprase (20), Retherford (25). SB–Taylor (5), Kaskadden (6). CS–Retherford (3).


                           IP      H      R    ER   BB    SO

Brnse W,5-5   6Z\c       7       2        1       4       8

Meyer              1Z\c       1       0        0       1       1

Mehlich S,2     1Z\c       1       0        0       1       0


                           IP      H      R    ER   BB    SO

Laber L,6-7         6     10       3        3       1       4

Fuqua                  1       0       0        0       0       1

Woods                1       1       0        0       0       1

Draxton              1       1       0        0       1       1

Umpires–Home: Schoenwald. First: Ghani. Third: Silverman. Time–3:05. A–4,818.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers 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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