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Goldeyes beat RedHawks in exhibition opener

Winnipeg Goldeyes

5/6/2013 11:44:39 PM

Perhaps the Winnipeg Goldeyes can make winning a habit this season.

Four different Goldeyes drove in two runs each as the Fish opened the 2013 American Association exhibition schedule with a 10-6 victory over the visiting Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in front of 2,000-plus fans at Shaw Park.

It was a beautiful night for baseball and, while it took the defending A.A. champions six innings to get geared up, the home side exploded for five runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh to put away their arch-rivals from Fargo.

Nick Liles, Casey Haerther, Josh Mazzola and Leonard Davis each drove in a pair of runs, as the Fish beat up Fargo pitchers Jose Garcia and Pete Levitt for nine of the 10 runs.

"I saw a good day of practice out there," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney afterward. "Our guys spent seven hours on the field today and that's hard to do when you're not in baseball shape yet.

"I didn't think we were sharp. We have to be more efficient in our strike throwing. And we have guys who haven't had a lot of swings in the past seven or eight months. We have some work to do."

Goldeyes reliever Alex Capaul gave up three runs, but still got credit for the victory. Levitt suffered the loss. There was no save situation, but Patrick Keating, who appears to have the inside track on the closer's job, threw a scoreless ninth.

"I kind of hoped the younger kids would have showed me a little more on the bump," Forney said. "But you can probably chalk that up to nerves. Our pitch selection and execution needs to be better."

While pitching obviously concerned Forney, he had to be happy with some of the hitters. Leadoff man Fehlandt Lentini had two hits and scored two runs; Haerther, the player of the game, had three hits, a run scored and two RBI; Mazzola had two hits, two runs and two RBI; and Liles had two hits, two runs scored and a pair of runs batted in.

"I sure had fun," said Liles. "I didn't know much about this league and I didn't know what to expect coming in. I was pretty nervous.

"But it was good to finally get here. When I arrived it was really cold and snowing but it was great tonight and the field is in great shape. It was pretty comfortable down at second base."

Buddy Sosnoskie and Tim Alberts delivered big hits for Doug Simunic's RedHawks. Sosnoskie went two-for-five with two runs scored while Alberts went three-for-five with two runs scored and two driven in on the game's only home run.

"I'm not disappointed in how we played," said Forney. "We need to get better, but for the first game day of the season, it was a good day's work. We'll go out and do it again tomorrow."