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Hawks fall in 10th

Jon Weber tried to take an extra base on a mishandled ball in the outfield during the sixth inning Tuesday at Newman Outdoor Field. In his haste to make a play, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks left fielder -- who was initially safe -- over-slid secon...

Jon Weber tried to take an extra base on a mishandled ball in the outfield during the sixth inning Tuesday at Newman Outdoor Field.

In his haste to make a play, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks left fielder -- who was initially safe -- over-slid second base and was subsequently tagged out.

The play summed up the RedHawks' Northern League baseball home opener -- they were off the mark.

The Joliet JackHammers plated the winning run in the 10th inning on a RedHawks' throwing error, scoring a 3-2 victory before 4,189 fans.

"That was just trying to be a little too aggressive," said Weber, who finished with three hits. "You try to take the extra base and start a rally, but in that case we kind of shot ourselves in the foot."

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The RedHawks had seven hits against Joliet pitching, but six of those came from Weber and Rich Becker, who also had three hits.

"Collectively, we're just not hitting," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. "We just have to get guys untracked."

F-M starter Justin Fletschock did his part, pitching seven solid innings.

He scattered six hits, struck out eight and walked one, while allowing two earned runs on a pair of solo home runs.

Fletschock was especially efficient in the first five innings, throwing 51 strikes and just 12 balls.

"Fletschock went out there and he pitched a great game," Weber said. "You have to tip your hat to the guy. Nothing he did was wrong or bad or anything."

The JackHammers scored the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.

Peter DeYoung grounded a ball to RedHawks third baseman Josh Patton, who lost his footing but was able to smother the ball.

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Patton attempted to throw out DeYoung from his knees, but his throw got away from RedHawks first baseman Dan Rohrmeier.

Joliet shortstop Mack Paciorek scored from second base on the play.

"He really didn't need to throw it there," Simunic said. "It's a little untypical of him. He's a very competent third baseman."

The RedHawks' right-handed batters went 1-for-16 at the plate. Veterans Rohrmeier and Brad Gennaro continued to struggle in the early season. The two have combined for two hits over the first four games.

"We're capable, but we've got some guys who are sputtering," Simunic said. "I'd like to see some of these guys who have some playing experience to come in and contribute. Tomorrow's another day I guess."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513

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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