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Winnipeg belts out 15 hits, takes down RedHawks to avoid sweep

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FARGO - Winnipeg compiled 15 hits Sunday to avoid being swept by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks as the Goldeyes cruised to a 10-2 victory in American Association baseball at Newman Outdoor Field.

The RedHawks are now 6-1 against Winnipeg this year.

The Goldeyes got on the board early with Reggie Abercrombie's two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning. They added another solo shot in the second, this time off the bat of Tucker Nathans, giving Winnipeg a 2-0 lead.

RedHawks starting pitcher Trey McNutt (3-6) took the loss for the RedHawks. He gave up four earned runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts through four innings. McNutt struggled to find the strike zone. He threw 82 total pitches, 42 of which were strikes.

"There's a few mechanical tweaks we need to make with (McNutt)," Schlact said. "There's a few different thought processes, mostly with two strikes or maybe how to put a guy away. Overall, he's got the tools, he's got the stuff. He knows what to do."

Schlact believes having his pitcher in the right mindset will help him improve.

"We've just got to make sure that we're having his thought processes to stay positive and that he understands how good his stuff is so that he believes in himself," Schlact said.

Winnipeg pulled away in the fifth inning. Tyler Baker and Matt McCann hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. After McNutt was replaced by Benji Waite, Abercrombie hit a blooper that dropped in shallow right, scoring Baker. McCann then came home on a wild pitch and Abercrombie scored on a Josh Mazzola double.

Mazzola, Abercrombie and Josh Romanski each drove in two runs to lead the Goldeyes.

Winnipeg continued to pour it on in the sixth. Grant Heyman blasted a solo home run to lead off the inning. After Jordan Ebert and Baker singled, Romanski brought them home with a single to right-center field. Abercrombie reached on a fielder's choice, then scored on a Mazzola double, making it 9-0.

The RedHawks finally got on the board in the home half of the sixth. Quinn Irey singled and Metzger followed by ripping an RBI double down the left-field line. Metzger advanced to third on the throw home and then scored on a Tim Colwell sacrifice fly, making it 9-2.

Metzger's .313 batting average and .440 on-base percentage rank fourth and first on the RedHawks, respectively.

"If I'm going, we have a good opportunity to score and do some good things offensively, so I pride myself in that," Metzger said. "(My mentality is) to be a tough out every time. ... I'm just trying to be a tough out, put together good at-bats, don't give any away and swing at pitches I want to swing at."

The Goldeyes added one more in the top of the seventh with Baker's RBI single.

With Gary (32-26) defeating St. Paul (33-28) Sunday, the RailCats jumped both the RedHawks and Saints to claim first place in the North division. F-M (32-27) is now tied with St. Paul for second place, half a game behind Gary.

F-M kicks off a three-game series at last-place Chicago on Monday. The Dogs swept the RedHawks last time they met.

"Obviously we have a chip on our shoulder after being swept there. We don't want that to happen again," Schlact said. "We're a team that believes in ourselves and we're not going to take any game for granted."

Metzger is excited to get a shot at redemption against Chicago.

"They beat up on us pretty good last time," Metzger said. "We're looking to get even with them this time for sure."

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