Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Goldeyes prepare to face Fargo in Game 2
By Ashley Prest
FARGO, N.D. — Though the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team has been down this path before, it was understandable the players were taking an attitude of cautious optimism into tonight's second game of the American Association playoffs.
The Goldeyes took the first game of the best-of-five semifinal series here at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday night with a 4-2 victory over the North Division champion Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
The two teams meet tonight at 7 in the second game, with Winnipeg's Chris Salamida and Fargo's Alex Caldera expected to be the starting pitchers, at Newman Outdoor Field.
The series is scheduled to return to Winnipeg for the remaining three games, with Game 3 Friday at 7 p.m. and, if necessary, games Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.).
Winnipeg and Fargo have met nine times in the playoffs during their former Northern League and now AA play, with Fargo holding a 6-3 edge. The last time Winnipeg beat Fargo in the playoffs was in 2001.
The two teams met in 2006 and 2009, with Winnipeg winning the first game both times. The first two games were played in Fargo both years years as well. In 2009, Winnipeg came home tied 1-1 while the Goldeyes had a 2-0 lead coming home in 2006, only to lose the next three.
Goldeyes pitcher Ace Walker, who got the win Wednesday, is slated to pitch again if the series goes to a fifth game.
"You can't ever count out Doug Simunic, he's one of the top managers there is," said Walker, in his fifth Goldeyes season, of the RedHawks manager. He and reliever Zach Baldwin played in the 2009 series. "Most of my memories of being here in Winnipeg are games and playoff games against Fargo."
In tonight's game, the Goldeyes will go with exactly the same lineup as Game 1.
The RedHawks have made several changes, including taking out outfielder Jon Gaston, who played right field, and Todd Jennings, who played catcher in the first game. Ryan Delago will catch while Ryan Stovall was added at designated hitter and Aharon Eggleston was added in left field with Buddy Sosnoskie moving to right field.
Diamond Dust: The Goldeyes will be able to continue their battles with the Simunic-led RedHawks for another three years. The RedHawks recently signed Simunic, the only manager the team has ever had, to a new three-year contract to take him through the 2015 season with a two-year club option to extend it through 2017. Simunic has taken a RedHawks team to the post-season in 15 of his 17 years as manager and has had teams with 60 or more regular-season wins seven times, including the 2012 team that won 65 games.
Twitter: @WFPAshley Prest
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