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Thunder Rolls as 'Hawks Walk-Off 5-4 Over Amarillo

FARGO, ND – Trailing 4-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks stormed back and defeated the Amarillo Thunderheads 5-4 in walk-off fashion before 3,684 RedHawks faithful on Sunday evening.

Amarillo would strike first in the third inning. RedHawks' starter Tyler Herron surrendered a leadoff single to Christian Ibarra bringing Rene Leveret to the dish. Leveret, who stands at 6'3” and sits at 280 pounds, crushed a mammoth two-run homer to right-center giving the Thunderheads a 2-0 lead.

Fargo-Moorhead struggled to manufacture runs early on. Facing Matt Larkins, the RedHawks stranded Zach Penprase 90 feet from home in the third. A 6-4-3 double play erased a leadoff walk in the fourth but F-M broke through in the sixth. 

Penprase and Drew Muren led off with back-to-back singles before Chad Mozingo grounded into a double play. Luke Bailey stepped to the plate with two outs and delivered by pounding a ball into the right field alley for a two-out RBI double. Joe Dunigan would drive Bailey in on a single pushed opposite field tying the game 2-2.

Herron tossed three consecutive scoreless innings after the third but was pitching his way in and out of trouble. The pitcher's best friend, the double play ball, aided Herron in the fifth and sixth as Penprase started the twin-killing both innings.

The Thunderheads would tag Herron for a run in the seventh on a sac fly to center field from Ibarra. Corey Bass scooted home from third after the right-hander issued a leadoff walk making it 3-2.

Former RedHawk Stefan Gartrell led off the top half of the eighth and ended Herron's line with one swing of the bat. The designated-hitter belted a solo shot to left putting Amarillo 4-2 and bringing up Doug Simunic to the mound. Alex Kreis came on in relief and got out of the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth Thunderheads' manager Bobby Brown went with right-hander Randy Hamrick out of the pen. Hamrick issued a leadoff walk to Charlie Valerio to start. After Ryan Pineda struck out, Michael Leach launched a ball down the line in right that barely landed and rolled into the corner allowing Leach to trot into second with a double. Rookie Jordan Tescher stepped up next and laced a single to left scoring Valerio making it 4-3. Penprase took a base on balls bringing up Muren to the plate. Muren sent a ball to second but legged out the play preventing a game ending double play while scoring Leach tying the game 4-4. Mozingo came to the plate and made the most of his chance. He slapped a single to left scoring Tescher and propelling Fargo-Moorhead to an 5-4 walk-off win.

In the post-game show, Doug Simunic was extremely pleased with his team's effort. Simunic went on to comment, “I can't be mad with these guys' efforts this season. They've played hard all year long.”

The walk-off hero, Chad Mozingo, talked about the significance of the team's final push this season. One of the hottest teams in the league, Mozingo said, “It's been an emotional roller coaster all season. We've known that we are better than our record shows all year. We had to shuffle things around but we found something concrete and our lineup has begun to build some chemistry.”

The RedHawks win their third straight game and seventh of their last ten while clinching their eighth series of their last nine. The club improves to 44-55 while Amarillo slips to the same mark.

Game 100/100 is set for a 1 p.m start tomorrow on Labor Day. Brandon Mann will take the hill in the season finale looking to add to his American Association single season strikeout record. Pre-game show on 740 AM The Fan kicks off at 12:40 with the voice of the RedHawks, Scott Miller, residing behind the microphone.
Game Date: 09/06/2015
Amarillo Thunderheads  4 AT Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks  5

                                 YTD                                   YTD
Amarillo           AB  R  H BI   AVG  Fargo              AB  R  H BI   AVG
C.Ibarra 3B         3  1  2  1  .277  Z.Penprase SS       4  1  2  0  .299
R.Leveret 1B        4  1  1  2  .293  D.Muren CF          5  0  1  1  .284
S.Gartrell DH       3  1  1  1  .277  C.Mozingo LF        5  0  2  1  .305
R.Rodriguez RF      4  0  0  0  .263  L.Bailey C          3  1  1  0  .249
G.Valentin 2B       4  0  1  0  .298  J.Dunigan RF        3  0  1  1  .255
D.Kjerstad CF       4  0  0  0  .297  C.Valerio 1B        3  1  0  0  .269
J.Guida LF          4  0  0  0  .259  R.Pineda 2B         4  0  1  0  .272
C.Bass C            2  1  1  0  .249  M.Leach DH          4  1  2  0  .213
K.Melo SS           3  0  1  0  .269  J.Tescher 3B        4  1  1  1  .200
                   31  4  7  4                           35  5 11  4

Amarillo             0 0 2   0 0 0   1 1 0 -  4  7  2
Fargo                0 0 0   0 0 2   0 0 3 -  5 11  2
2B--C.Ibarra (9), L.Bailey (17), M.Leach (2). HR--R.Leveret (12),
S.Gartrell (18). RBI--C.Ibarra (21), R.Leveret  2 (73), S.Gartrell (71),
D.Muren (44), C.Mozingo (63), J.Dunigan (60), J.Tescher (1). SF--C.Ibarra
(1). SH--K.Melo (0). SB--C.Bass (10), Z.Penprase (28), C.Mozingo (18).
E--C.Bass 2 (11), R.Pineda 2 (12). 
LOB--Amarillo 7, Fargo 8. DP--G. Valentin(2B) - K. Melo(SS) - R.
Leveret(1B), M. Larkins(P) - K. Melo(SS) - R. Leveret(1B), R. Pineda(2B) -
Z. Penprase(SS) - C. Valerio(1B), R. Pineda(2B) - Z. Penprase(SS) - C.
Valerio(1B). 
                                                                YTD
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
 Amarillo
M.Larkins                       7.0   7   2   2   2   3   0    3.26
E.Reed                          1.0   1   0   0   0   2   0    3.00
R.Hamrick (L,4-4)               0.2   3   3   3   2   1   0    3.40
                              8.2    11   5   5   4   6   0
 Fargo
T.Herron                        7.0   5   4   4   5   6   2    4.47
A.Kreis (W,1-0)                 2.0   2   0   0   0   1   0    4.36
                                9     7   4   4   5   7   2
SO--R.Rodriguez 2, D.Kjerstad 3, J.Guida, K.Melo, C.Mozingo, L.Bailey 2,
J.Dunigan, C.Valerio, R.Pineda. BB--C.Ibarra, R.Leveret, S.Gartrell, C.Bass
2, Z.Penprase, L.Bailey, J.Dunigan, C.Valerio. BF--M.Larkins 28 (636),
E.Reed 4 (40), R.Hamrick 7 (214), T.Herron 30 (589), A.Kreis 8 (49).
P-S--M.Larkins 93-63, E.Reed 12-10, R.Hamrick 34-20, T.Herron 120-71,
A.Kreis 32-22. 
T--2:38.  A--3684

Weather: 75 F, Partly Cloudy
Plate Umpire - Tim Kreamer, Field Umpire #1 - Cody Loe, Field Umpire #2 - Marty Bauer


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