06/30/2009 11:03 PM
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks delivered 14 hits and got seven shutout innings from starter Broc Coffman to beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 8-1 Tuesday night at U. S. Steel Yard in the first game of a three-game series.
The win was the RedHawks seventh straight against the RailCats, and was not in doubt after the early innings. Fargo started quickly with two runs in the top of the first, getting help from the RailCats defense which committed two errors in the inning and three in the game. RailCats starter Grant Johnson (2-6) pitched well enough after the first to hold the Fargo bats in check until the fifth when Fargo added three more runs on four hits, getting RBI singles from Zach Penprase, Nic Jackson and Jeremiah Piepkorn in the inning.
While his offense got to work, Coffman (6-2) cruised to his sixth victory against the RailCats in the last two years. Coffman allowed only two hits in his seven innings and the ‘Cats did not get a runner to second base until Mike Massaro led off the sixth inning with a double. Coffman walked only two and pitched around a pair of errors that gave the RailCats two bonus baserunners. In his two-year Northern League career, Coffman has allowed only 11 earned runs in 57.0 innings against the ‘Cats, good for a 1.74 ERA.
The RailCats got their lone run of the night in the ninth inning to avoid their first shutout loss of the year. Jay Pecci led off the ninth with a double against Matt Mossey, and scored on a one-out single from Jordan Czarniecki. The RailCats had only four hits in the game, their second-lowest output of the season.
Even after a three-game sweep of the Joliet JackHammers in which the RailCats pitched very well, the ‘Cats once again struggled against Fargo’s high-powered offense. In the seven straight RedHawks wins, Fargo has scored 77 runs on 107 hits, an average of 11 runs and 15.3 hits per night. Johnson allowed 10 hits and six runs (five earned) in six innings of work, but struck out a season-high seven.
The RailCats (20-22) and RedHawks (20-18) will do it again Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The RailCats will send left-hander Tom Thornton (5-3, 4.96 ERA) in Wednesday’s game against Fargo-Moorhead righty Garry Bakker (3-2, 3.78 ERA). That game will be broadcast live on WDAY 970 AM and online at www.fmredhawks.com
Notes: The RailCats lost for just the second time in their last 11 games at U. S. Steel Yard … the RedHawks improved to 10-3 against the RailCats this season … Johnson has allowed 15 earned runs and 20 hits in his last two starts against Fargo, covering only 9.2 innings … Hammond native and former RailCats outfielder Mike Coles went 4-for-5 and scored twice to pace a 14-hit Fargo attack … the RedHawks played without All-Star third baseman Yurendell DeCaster - signed by the New York Yankees Sunday – for the first time this year, and played with zero position players available on the bench … excluding four games against the Fargo, the RailCats have won 10 of their last 12 overall (four losses to Fargo would be included in that stretch).