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More Northern League Awards; Playoff Update

09/15/2005 4:12 PM - The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks continued to be honored for their record-breaking regular season, capturing three of the four 2005 awards announced by the Northern League on Thursday.

The RedHawks were selected as the 2005 Northern League Organization of the Year. In addition, Fargo-Moorhead righthander Brandon Culp earned Pitcher of the Year honors, and Doug Simunic was named the Manager of the Year.

Outfielder Bryan Warner of the Lincoln Saltdogs won the 2005 Northern League Player of the Year Award, becoming the second player in league history to win that honor more than once. Warner, who was also the league?s top player in 2002, joins Winnipeg?s Terry Lee (1995 and 1996) as the only two-time recipients.

Warner batted .352 with 21 homers and 104 rbi in 95 games at Lincoln in 2005. The 31-year-old lefthanded batter established a Northern League record with 143 hits and tied the league mark for rbi. He ranked second in the NL in batting and runs scored (85), tied for third in extra base hits (50), was fifth in slugging (.579) and tied for fifth in home runs.

Warner received 19 of the 41 ballots cast by league directors, managers, radio announcers and media. His Saltdogs teammate, outfielder Cory Harris finished second with ten votes followed by Calgary third baseman Carlos Duncan (6).

Culp was 14-0 with a 2.60 era in 20 games/18 starts for Fargo-Moorhead in 2005. In addition to establishing a league record for highest winning percentage, the 28-year-old righthander ranked second in the NL in wins and compiled the league?s fourth best earned run average.

Culp received 23 votes to outdistance Kansas City righthander Greg Bicknell (11) and fellow RedHawk righthander Taft Cable (6).

Simunic guided Fargo-Moorhead to a Northern League record 68 regular season wins and North Division titles in both halves. The RedHawks had a 40-7 mark in the 2nd half, winning 27 of 28 games at one point, including a league record 14 consecutive victories. It marks the ninth time in his ten seasons at Fargo-Moorhead that Simunic has guided the RedHawks to the playoffs.

This is the fourth time that Simunic has been selected as the NL Manager of the Year as he was previously honored in 1996, 1998, and 2003. That marks the most managerial awards in league history as Ed Nottle won three times (1994-95-99).

Simunic received 22 votes with Gary?s Greg Tagert placing second with 17 votes. The RailCats improved from 31 to 54 wins and a playoff berth in Tagert?s first year at the helm. The pair received all but two of the 41 votes cast.

Fargo-Moorhead was selected as the Northern League Organization of the Year by league Directors and General Managers after tying for the best winning percentage in professional baseball (.716). The Organization of the Year award was first presented in 2003 with Winnipeg and Kansas City winning the last two seasons.


NORTHERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SHIFTS TO GARY ON FRIDAY NIGHT

The 2005 Northern League Championship Series moves to U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Indiana on Friday night with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks up two games to none over the Gary SouthShore RailCats in the best of five series.

The RedHawks posted 5-1 and 5-4 victories against the RailCats on Tuesday and Wednesday at Fargo?s Newman Outdoor Field, where Fargo-Moorhead won its last 20 games of 2005, including the playoffs.

The RedHawks, who won a league record 68 regular season games and tied for the best winning percentage in all of professional baseball, captured both halves of the North Division, then defeated the wild card Lincoln Saltdogs in the Division Series. This is the 6th time in its ten seasons of existence that Fargo-Moorhead has advanced to the Northern League Championship Series, winning in 1998 and 2003.

The RailCats were awarded the 2nd Half South Division title after having the same record as 1st half champ St. Paul, Gary?s 1st playoff appearance in its 4th Northern League season. The RaiCats then defeated the Saints in five games to reach the Championship Series.

If Games 4 and 5 are necessary in the Championship Series, they will also be played in Gary on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

2005 NORTHERN LEAGUE CHAMIPONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE AND RESULTS (All Times Central)

Game Date Results/Probables Time
1 Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Fargo-Moorhead 5, Gary 1
2 Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Fargo-Moorhead 5, Gary 4
3 Friday, Sept. 16 Fargo-Moorhead (Joe Sergent) at Gary (Cody Fisher) 7:00 p.m.
4* Saturday, Sept. 17 Fargo-Moorhead (Todd George) at Gary (Willie Glen) 6:00 p.m.
5* Sunday, Sept. 18 Fargo-Moorhead at Gary 2:00 p.m.
*If Necessary

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact John Blake, Chief Operating Officer, 817-378-9898