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RedHawks Close Regular Season With Victory

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks scored four runs in the ninth inning, spoiling Fan Appreciation Night for 4,335 fans at U. S. Steel Yard as the ‘Hawks beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 8-6 in the regular season finale for both teams.

The RailCats and RedHawks are both postseason bound, with the ‘Cats finishing with the league’s best record and earning the top seed for the four-team Northern League Playoffs.  The RedHawks will be the league’s third seed and host the first of a best-of-five playoff series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes Wednesday.  The RailCats will open the postseason at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night against the defending league champion Kansas City T-Bones at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The game was very low-scoring early, with the RailCats taking a 1-0 lead without the benefit of a hit in the first inning.  Chris Carrara reached on an error to start the inning, stole second base and scored on back-to-back groundouts.  The RailCats would not get a hit until the sixth inning when Cristian Guerrero singled with two outs against Broc Coffman. 

Tom Thornton pitched very well himself, keeping the score 1-0 until the sixth.  With two on and one out, Ruben Salazar singled to left to put the RedHawks in front 2-1.  Fargo built their lead to 3-1 in the seventh before the RailCats responded in the bottom of the inning.  Rob Marconi stroked a run-scoring double and Carrara had an RBI single to tie the game at three.

The RedHawks jumped back in front with a run in the top of eighth but the RailCats again had an answer ready, plating three runs in the bottom of the eighth.  Fargo committed two errors in the frame to aid the cause as Guerrero and Marconi each had RBI hits.  In the top of the ninth, the RedHawks took advantage of a RailCats error and got a game-tying two-run single from Mike Coles and go-ahead sacrifice fly from Carlo Cota before Coles himself scored on a balk.

The RailCats had seven hits in the game, two each from Guererro and Marconi.  Fargo mounted a 12-hit attack, led by Zach Penprase who went 3-for-5 and scored a run to set the single-season Northern League runs scored record with an even 100.

Thornton pitched 7.1 innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits, striking out five.  Tristan Facer (0-3) took the loss, surrendering four runs (two earned) in 1.2 innings.  Tim Lavigne got the win in relief for Fargo, getting the side in the ninth after recording the last two outs of the eighth inning.

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