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Laber leads RedHawks to fourth straight win

FARGO - Eight starts into his season, left-hander Jake Laber cracked the win column Tuesday night at Newman Outdoor Field. "I will take my first win of the season almost six weeks in," Laber said with a smile. Laber pitched seven solid innings to...

FARGO - Eight starts into his season, left-hander Jake Laber cracked the win column Tuesday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

"I will take my first win of the season almost six weeks in," Laber said with a smile.

Laber pitched seven solid innings to help lead the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to a 9-3 victory against the Lincoln Saltdogs in American Association baseball before 3,249 fans.

Laber scattered seven hits in his seven innings, holding the Saltdogs scoreless through six. The former Fargo North and North Dakota State standout struck out a season-high seven batters.

"He's been keeping us in the games," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said of Laber. "We've had a little bad luck scoring runs when it's been his turn. Tonight, we were able to score him some runs."

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The RedHawks (18-19) have won four consecutive games and nine of their past 11. They host the Saltdogs at 7:02 p.m. tonight at Newman. F-M has a chance to get back to .500 for the first time since May 27 when the team had a 5-5 mark.

"We're trying to get in it," Simunic said. "We got out of it early on. Now we're trying to get back in it."

Laber didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning and struck out five batters through the first two innings. He held the Saltdogs to two hits through the first six innings.

"I was able to get some strikeouts just spotting up a fastball on a corner and they were strikeouts looking," Laber said. "I feel like my stuff is coming around, especially the last two or three starts."

The Saltdogs scored all three of their runs in the seventh inning. First baseman Tommy Collaro sparked the inning with a two-run blast over the wall in left field. Laber gave up five hits in the seventh.

"It was a little disappointing," said Laber, who threw 106 pitches, including 64 strikes. "I let the slider come over the plate a little too much on that homer. It was just one bad pitch."

The RedHawks built an early lead, scoring four runs in the first inning. First baseman Marcos Rodriguez capped the rally with a two-run triple that he sliced into the left-field corner. That gave F-M a 4-0 lead.

The RedHawks added two runs in the second inning and a single run in the third. F-M had a 7-0 lead through three innings. That lead grew to 8-0 after catcher Todd Jennings added an RBI single in the fifth inning.

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"We're starting to hit the ball ... we're starting to do a few things," Simunic said.

"Things are definitely going in the right direction," Laber added. "You can tell in the clubhouse, just the attitude of the team is better."

NOTES: Right-hander Tyler Herron (1-3, 3.47 ERA) is scheduled to start for the RedHawks today. Lincoln is expected to counter with right-hander Justin Edwards (2-3, 6.42 ERA). ... The RedHawks improved to 6-11 at home with Tuesday's victory. F-M has a 12-8 road record this season. ... F-M released right-handed pitcher Alex Rivers prior to Tuesday's game. The RedHawks also placed left fielder Aharon Eggleston on the disabled list.

LINCOLN REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Spiers ss 5 0 0 0 Penprs ss 4 2 3 1

Prvnhr cf 3 0 2 1 Pdrza rf 2 1 0 2

Esinsa 2b 4 0 1 0 Ssnskie rf 0 0 0 0

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Holdren rf 3 0 0 0 Jackson cf 3 0 0 1

Rohan 3b 3 0 0 0 Delgado dh 3 0 2 1

Mnriquz c 4 1 2 0 Gaston lf 4 1 0 0

Miller c 0 0 0 0 Stovall 3b 5 1 1 1

Collro 1b 4 1 1 2 Rdrigz 1b 4 2 2 2

Shah dh 4 1 1 0 Cota 2b 4 0 0 0

Payne lf 3 0 0 0 Jenings c 4 2 3 0

Totals 33 3 7 3 Totals 33 9 11 8

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L 000 000 300-3 7 3

F 421 010 10x-9 11 1

E-Spiers 2(11), Payne (3), Stovall (9). LOB-L 7,RedHawks 11. 2b - Provencher (8), Manriquez (4), Shah (11), Delgado (10), Rodriquez (10). 3b - Rogriguez. HR - Collaro (3). SB Spiers (13), Jackson (10).

LINCOLN

IP H R ER BB SO

Hedrick, L 2Zc 5 7 6 7 4

Povey 2Xc 4 1 1 0 1

Parker 3 2 1 1 1 1

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REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Laber, W 7 7 3 3 4 7

Fuqua 2 0 0 0 0 2

Umpires-Home: Thigpen First: Hicks Third: Anderson. Time-2:31. A-3,249.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson's blog can be found

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at peterson.areavoices.com

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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