The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks benefited from a game-winning throwing error to top the Winnipeg Goldeyes 9-8 Thursday evening at Newman Outdoor Field. RedHawks reliever RHP Tim Lavigne pitched 4.0 innings, gave-up one run (earned) and fanned six to even the best-of-5 series one game apiece.
In the first inning, RedHawks SS Zach Penprase drew a walk and reached third on a hit-and-run single by CF Nic Jackson. With men at first and third, 3B Jeremiah Piepkorn lifted an opposite-field sac fly to plate Penprase from third and open the scoring.
The lead was short lived as the Goldeyes tied it in the second. RF Kevin West sparked a two-out rally with a double to dead-center. 1B Brent Metheny singled him home to tie it at one-all. In the third, Piepkorn put the RedHawks ahead on the scoreboard 2-1 with his second solo shot in as many games.
But the Goldeyes cut short that lead too. West singled, LF Dee Brown doubled and SS Mark Minicozzi singled past a drawn-in infield to tie it at two-all. The RedHawks rallied for a pair in the fourth. 1B Ruben Salazar worked a walk and C Alan Rick cracked a seeing-eye-single. With Salazar in scoring position, 2B Carlo Cota loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice sac bunt. Salazar reached home on a fielder’s choice RBI by LF Justin Justice. Penprase legged out an infield hit to drive Rick home from third and double the RedHawks lead to 4-2.
The Goldeyes crept within a run in the fifth. CF Cory Patton put a charge into a full-count offering from RedHawks starter RHP Garry Bakker and lifted it over the right-field wall to make it 4-3. The back-and-forth was an all game affair. In the sixth, Goldeyes LF Dee Brown tied it at four-all on an opposite-field big fly.
In the seventh, 2B Josh Asanovich marked the Goldeyes third leadoff homerun of the game to give the Goldeyes a 5-4 lead. DH Juan Diaz and 3B Vince Harrison hit back-to-back singles and West loaded the bases with a single up mid-field. Lavigne issued a bases-loaded walk to push Diaz home from third and give the Goldeyes a 7-4 lead.
Penprase led off the home half of the seventh with a right-field flare. Piepkorn plated Penprase with a bloop single to left and the RedHawks crept within two. RedHawks RF Mike Coles cracked a double and Salazar clutch-hit the pair home to tie it at seven-all.
In the 10th, 1B Cody Ehlers knocked-out a 3-1 offering from Lavigne to give the Goldeyes an 8-7 lead. But the lead changed hands once more in the game. With the bases loaded in the RedHawks last-at- bats, Piepkorn nubbed a ball to RHP Chris Homer who threw it away. The defensive miscue plated two RedHawks runs and ultimately cost the Goldeyes the game.
The RedHawks play the Goldeyes tomorrow at Canwest Park. RHP Billy Weitzman will toe the rubber for the RedHawks. RHP Andrew Cruse will head to the hill for the Goldeyes.
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