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RedHawks Steal Opener, Win 6-3 on Walk-Off Grand Slam

08/02/2013 9:11 PM -

FARGO, N.D. – The Goldeyes held a 3-2 lead heading to the ninth, but Jeremiah Piepkorn spoiled a Winnipeg victory by hitting a walk-off grand slam to push the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks past the Goldeyes, 6-3, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,002 at Newman Outdoor Field Friday.

Fargo-Moorhead (44-28) trailed the entire game heading into the final frame. Nic Jackson led the inning off by reaching base on an error and C.J. Retherford singled to put two aboard with no outs. After a Keith Brachold flyout, Tim Alberts reached base on a fielding error, which loaded the bases with one out.

Jeremiah Piepkorn decided to make his home debut this season a memorable one.

On the first pitch from Goldeyes reliever Chris Kissock, Piepkorn swung and smacked his first home run of the season over the left-field fence – completing a comeback and helping the RedHawks take the series opener.

With the victory, the RedHawks extended a nine-game regular-season win streak over the Goldeyes that dates back to the end of the 2012 season.

The Goldeyes (37-34) scored the first three runs of the game in the first two innings. Back-to-back doubles in the first by Ray Sadler and Ryan Scoma made it a 1-0 game, then three walks in the inning set up a Tyler Graham two-run single to extend the lead, 3-0.

Zach Penprase led off the fourth by getting the first hit for the RedHawks and later scored on a C.J. Retherford RBI single. Keith Brachold drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, but a 4-6-3 double play ended the threat and kept the score at 3-2.  

Both starting pitchers found their rhythm at different times. Fargo-Moorhead’s Danny Gutierrez made his first start of the season and struggled early, but retired 15 straight batters. He was credited with a no-decision after pitching six innings and giving up only three hits.  

Goldeyes starter Matthew Rusch was perfect through the first three innings before allowing the hit to Penprase. Rusch went 7 2/3 innings for Winnipeg and allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

The RedHawks’ pitching staff combined to not allow a hit after the second inning. Mackenzie King recorded two outs in relief and Nate Kilcrease improved to 4-2 by throwing the final 2 1/3 innings, while striking out two.

Brenden Lafferty was credited with the loss. He pitched 2/3 innings and allowed one hit and two unearned runs. Kissock faced two batters and gave up the walk-off grand slam to Piepkorn.

The RedHawks and Goldeyes continue the three-game set at 6 p.m. Saturday at Newman Outdoor Field. Tickets are available at fmredhawks.com or by calling (701) 235-6161. 



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