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The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (57-33) begin their final homestand of the 2013 season at 7:02 p.m. Friday against the Kansas City T-Bones (37-53) at Newman Outdoor Field. Fargo-Moorhead comes off a six-game road trip and is set to host their final seven regular season home games in the next eight days. The RedHawks are 5-1 against the T-Bones this season, picking up two out of three at Newman in June and sweeping the T-Bones in Kansas City in a three-game set two weeks ago. Fargo-Moorhead’s magic number to clinch the division is down to one after last night’s victory over Sioux Falls. Rookie Brian Ernst (5-2, 4.17) is expected to start for the Hawks, while the T-Bones will counter with Ethan Cole (0-6, 5.82).
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and Kansas City T-Bones first met in 2003 as members of the Northern League and have faced off against one another through the transition to the American Association. The RedHawks are 73-50 all-time against the T-Bones, including an 8-3 record during the 2012 season. Both teams found success during their stints in the Northern League, with Kansas City winning the league title in 2008. The final season of the Northern League in 2010 came down to a championship series between the two clubs. The series and league ended with the RedHawks as champions, finishing off the T-Bones three games to zero.
The RedHawks radio home is The Fan 740 AM. Scott Miller serves as the voice of the RedHawks for his eighth season. Pregame starts 20 minutes before the scheduled first pitch. A free online stream of every Fargo-Moorhead home game is available at livestream.com/fmredhawks.
Road Series Wrap-up
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks wrapped up a recent six-game road trip with a 5-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries, ending the span with a 3-3 record.
The RedHawks finished 1-2 against the American Association-leading Wichita Wingnuts and 2-1 against North Division foe Sioux Falls Canaries.
In the Wichita series, the RedHawks won the opener but fell in the final two games of the series -- including an 11-inning loss on Aug. 17. The ‘Hawks and Wingnuts played three close games, with Wichita outscoring Fargo-Moorhead by a narrow 12-11 combined runs in the series.
Despite Fargo-Moorhead only picking up five hits in the first game against Wichita, a five-run fifth was enough to get by with a 5-4 victory. The ‘Hawks were aided by a two-run double by Nic Jackson, an RBI double by Keith Brachold and a solid start by Brian Ernst. The Wingnuts won the second game of the series with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the eleventh and Wichita allowed only three hits combined to Fargo-Moorhead in the third game to clinch the series win.
Fargo-Moorhead bounced back Thursday, clinching a series victory over the Canaries in Sioux Falls. The RedHawks won the first game of the three-game series with a three-run comeback in the ninth, then split the next two as the ‘Hawks again played another close series, this time by outscoring the Canaries 15-13.
Trailing 3-0 in the ninth in Tuesday’s series opener, Ron Bourquin began the comeback with a solo home run. Nic Jackson then reached base to set up C.J. Retherford’s two-run shot that tied it up as the ‘Hawks eventually won in extras, 4-3. Sioux Falls’ Reggie Abercrombie hit a game-winning home run in the the second game to tie the series, but the RedHawks bullpen shut down the Canaries in 3 2/3 combined innings by giving up no runs on three hits with five strikeouts in a 5-3 victory.
At the conclusion of the six-game trip, the RedHawks maintained their eight-game lead in the North Division, and the magic number to clinch the regular season division title sits at two.
Penprase at it Again
Despite already holding the RedHawks’ all-time career records in runs scored and RBIs, shortstop Zach Penprase took over another record during the recent road trip. In the second game of the three-game set in Sioux Falls on Aug. 21, Penprase became the all-time games played leader in club history with 531, passing Joe Mathis who played from 2003 to 2008.
Ernst Better of Late
Brian Ernst is expected to start on the mound in the opener of a seven-game homestand for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Friday. While he has had his ups-and-downs during his rookie season, Ernst has pitched well in his last two starts coming into tonight’s matchup with the T-Bones. Ernst has pitched a combined 11 innings in his last two starts, giving up four runs (three earned) on 12 hits and eight strikeouts. Ernst also picked up victories in both starts, his first victories since July 13.
Experience Dealing With Extras
Two of the six games on the recent road trip went to extras and the RedHawks were able to win one of those contests despite dropping one. In the first extra-inning affair on Aug. 17, both the RedHawks and Wichita Wingnuts went scoreless for four innings before a Chris Ziegler sacrifice fly in the eleventh sealed it for Wichita. On Aug. 20, Fargo-Moorhead trailed 3-0 heading to the ninth in Sioux Falls, but Ron Bourquin and C.J. Retherford hit homers to tie it and the ‘Hawks eventually won in the eleventh for a 4-3 victory.
Jackson Going Deep
Nic Jackson’s nine home runs this season and 63 in his career as a RedHawk puts him one shy of a tie with Darryl Motley for second all-time in club history. Jackson also sits two back of Jesse Hoorelbeke for first all-time in club history with 65 home runs.
RedHawks Among League Leaders
Tim Alberts Extra-Base Hits (46) 3rd
Triples (6) 5th
Zach Penprase Stolen Bases (38) 2nd
Runs (76) 3rd
Taylor Stanton Complete Games (3) Tied-2nd
ERA (2.23) 1st
Joe Harris Appearances (48) 1st
Wins (10) Tied-1st
Ron Bourquin Walks (62) 3rd
63 home runs: Needs 1 home run to move into tie for 2nd on club’s career home runs list (1st: Jesse Hoorelbeke 65, 2nd: Darryl Motley: 64)
273 doubles: Needs 2 doubles for 275 in his professional career
19 triples: Needs 1 triple for 20 in his professional career
744 hits: Needs 6 hits for 750 in his professional career
95 strikeouts: Needs 5 strikeouts to reach 100 for the 2013 season
95 games: Needs 5 appearances for 100 in his professional career
1.43… Joe Harris’ ERA this season (best on team)
14… Number of appearances Nate Kilcrease has made in a row without giving up a run
2… Magic number for RedHawks to clinch North Division title and automatic playoff berth 63… Number of home runs by Nic Jackson as a RedHawk (third all-time)
63... Number of home runs by Nic Jackson as a RedHawks (third all-time)
.515… Tim Alberts’s team-best slugging perecentage this season