An early offensive burst propelled the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to an 8-3 victory over the Calgary Vipers Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field.  The loss drops Calgary 3 and a half games back of the Gary SouthShore RailCats, who trounced in Joliet, for the Northern League’s wildcard spot.  Fargo-Moorhead’s win keeps them perfect against the Snakes in the second half of the season and gives them their 10th straight win.  

The RedHawks got on the board early on, as Richard Austin drove home Brent Krause in the bottom of the 1st inning.  A pair of RBI doubles from Clyde Williams and Bryon Jeffcoat scored a pair more in the 2nd before Ruben Salazar came to the plate in the 3rd.  The third baseman smacked a solo homerun to straight-away center field to give the RedHawks a 4-0 lead.  For Salazar, it was his 9th homerun of the year and would start an outstanding night at the plate. 

Fargo-Moorhead put the game out of reach in the 4th helped in large part with an RBI single from Salazar to score a pair of runs.  He would go for 3-4 on Saturday and finish the night with 65 RBI, good for 3rd on the RedHawks.  Jeffcoat and Eric Kofler also drove home runs in the 4th to put Fargo-Moorhead ahead 8-0.  Calgary was unable to score until their half of the 8th when Juan Thomas, who had already doubled in the game, brought home a pair of runs with a 2 base hit.  For the big Calgary designated hitter, it was his 65th RBI this season finishing a night where he would go 2-4.  An RBI from Shawn Ashman in the 9th to score Drew Miller brought home Calgary’s 3rd run.  Ashman now has 3 RBI this year with the Calgary Vipers.

Left handed pitcher Joe Sergent picks up the win for the RedHawks, striking out 10 Vipers batters while scattering just 6 hits for no runs in his 6 innings on the mound.  Sergent now becomes the second member of the Fargo-Moorhead pitching staff to reach 13 wins as he improves to 13-2 this year.  His 10 strikeouts was a personal high.  Quintin Oldenburg struggled on the mound for Calgary picking up the loss to drop to 10-5 this year.  The right hander gave up 7 runs on 7 hits in his 3 and two thirds on the mound.

Calgary and Fargo-Moorhead play for the final time Sunday afternoon (1:05 pm MST, Newman Outdoor Field) with Calgary needing a win to keep their wildcard hopes alive.  The Vipers start Dan Reichert (2-1) off the mound in his 5th start while the RedHawks counter with lefty Mike Peschell (6-4).  With 7 games remaining, the magic number for Gary is now 5 to clinch the Northern League’s wildcard.  The Railcats have 4 games remaining with last place Joliet.

Before Saturday’s roster freeze, the Vipers got one last roster move in this season signing right handed pitcher Chad Gianetti.  The right hander pitched this year with the Mid-Missouri Mavericks of the Frontier League after pitching in 4 games with the Sioux City Explorers last year.  Gianetti will be used as a reliable arm out of the bullpen.