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Jackson Homers Twice but RedHawks Fall 5-4

Nothing beats pitching, defense and home runs. Just ask the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Saturday night, starter Nick Hernandez retired the first 15 batters he faced, while Josh Mazzola and Ray Sadler homered, as the Goldeyes held on to beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 5-4 at Shaw Park.

It didn’t look like a thriller through the first five innings as Hernandez had complete control of the RedHawks, but Fargo never quits and the Goldeyes had to dig deep to record their third straight win.

“My fastball was down in the zone and I only threw one change up through the first five innings,” said Hernandez, who had a perfect game going into the sixth. “It was my defense that made the difference. I pitched to contact – there weren’t many strikeouts tonight – and I got great support behind me. Ray (Sadler) made a great catch at the wall and Donnie Webb made a good catch in right and that was the reason why I was able to do what I did tonight.”

With the win, the Goldeyes improved to 26-14 on the season and pulled four games ahead of Fargo in the race for first in the American Association’s North Division. It was Winnipeg’s third straight win and the team’s second straight victory over Fargo to open this four-game series at Shaw Park.

With a big wind blowing out over the left-field wall, the Goldeyes, pounded out 14 hits, but left 12 men on base. Winnipeg scored early in the ballgame and built a 4-0 lead and then had to hold on as the wind took routine fly balls and carried them over the wall.

This Fish scored a run in the second when Josh Mazzola singled and came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Reggie Abercrombie. Winnipeg added three in the third when Ryan Pineda doubled and came home on a single by Tyler Kuhn. Kuhn was the first across the plate when the next batter, Mazzola, stepped up and hit a two-run line shot over the left-field wall.

After Fargo scored a run in the sixth, and then made it 4-3 on a two-run opposite-field homer by Nic Jackson in the seventh, the Goldeyes’ Ray Sadler led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot. That turned out to be winning run because Jackson hit his second opposite-field homer of the game, a solo shot off reliever Chris Kissock, in the ninth.

Mazzola had four hits for Winnipeg while Kuhn had three and Pineda, Sadler and Haerther had two each.

Hernandez (4-0, 3.56 ERA) picked up the win for Winnipeg, while Stanton (1-5, 4.14 ERA) took the loss. Chris Kissock got his team-leading eighth save of the year for Winnipeg.



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