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F-M Completes Sweep of Saints in Eleventh Thanks to Valerio's Great Day

The owner of the American Association's best record wasn't going to go down without a fight, and Fargo-Moorhead put their best effort into sweeping their Northern Division rivals, St. Paul. It took eleven innings, but they ended up defeating the Saints 7-6 at Newman Outdoor Field on Sunday.
   
In regulation innings the game followed a pattern, anytime the home team scored in the bottom of an inning, the road team would answer in the next top half. It started in the first when K.D. Kang's three-run blast allowed the 'Hawks to jump out 3-0. Nate Hanson then led off the second with a solo homer of his own. The fifth inning had Charlie Valerio ripping his first (but not last) big hit of the game with a solo shot. Once again St. Paul answered with two runs of their own to put it at 5-3 thanks to doubles by Tony Thomas and Hanson.
    
Despite the loss, the Saints put up thirteen hits and had five players with multiple hits, including Thomas going 4-for-6 with two runs, two doubles, and a stolen base. Meanwhile the RedHawks put up only seven hits, but they were all effective as every one of those either resulted in one of the seven runs scored or an RBI. In the eighth Kes Carter added an insurance run when he singled and Keury De La Cruz' single drove him in. 
    
Continuing the trend of the game, the Saints responded in the top of the next inning. This time it was a massive response as Dan Johnson crushed a three-run homer to allow the Saints to steal a 6-5 lead with two outs. Thankfully for the home team, Dustin Geiger came up clutch by leading off the bottom of the inning with the team's third dinger. In extras the tenth was quiet. Josh Mazzola then led off the bottom of the eleventh with a walk, and thanks to a couple of wild pitches advanced to third. Valerio then stepped up and drove a grounder into the gap on a full count to secure three straight wins over the powerful Saints.
    
Brett Zawacki (1-0) was the winner and Cody Wheeler (0-3) took the loss. The RedHawks will face another strong Northern Division team in Winnipeg, when they travel to Shaw Park Monday and face the Goldeyes at 7:00 p.m. St. Paul will return home to host Wichita at 7:05 p.m.


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