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High Fives All Around In Northern League Playoffs

09/10/2006 6:21 AM - Both Northern League Semifinal Playoff Series will go to a fifth and deciding game.

A pair of big innings fueled the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a 10-1 win over the Schaumburg Flyers in game four of the best-of-five East Division Semifinal, tying the series at two games apiece. The fifth and deciding game is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary.

Fargo-Moorhead defeated Winnipeg 4-3 in game four of the West Division Semifinal, at CanWest Global Park in Winnipeg. Because the Redhawks won both halves in the West this season, the series will return to Fargo Sunday for the climactic fifth game. The Redhawks will host the Goldeyes at 6 p.m. at Newman Outdoor Field.

At U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, the RailCats scored three runs in the first inning, and added four runs in the fourth, on the way to their 10-1 win in front of a crowd of 1,702. Four of the RailCats' ten runs were unearned as a result of two Schaumburg errors.

Eric McNamee led the Gary attack, batting 2-for-4 and driving in three runs. McNamee's two-out, two-run single in the fourth broke the game open, giving the RailCats a 7-0 lead.

Kevin White drove in a pair of runs for Gary, and Jarrod Patterson batted 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, and a run scored. Jason Shelley yielded three hits and struck out seven over five and two-third innings to earn the win for Gary.

At Winnipeg, Fargo-Moorhead won for the second straight night, edging the Goldeyes with an eighth-inning run in front of 5,334. The visiting team has won each of the four games in the series.

Winnipeg took an early lead thanks to a first-inning RBI-single by Jimmy Hurst. The RedHawks countered with a three-run homer by Scott Goodman in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead.

The Goldeyes tied the game in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs off Fargo-Moorhead starter Jeff McLaughlin. David Gates led off the inning with a homer. Matt Mann singled and Corey Stang reached on an error, before Max Poulin hit an RBI-double to tie the score at 3-3.

Mike Peschel relieved McLaughlin with no outs, but retired the side without giving up the lead by getting Fehlandt Lentini to ground out to third, and retiring Amos Ramon and Greg Sain on infield pop-ups.

The game remained tied until the eighth, when the RedHawks rallied with two outs. Brent Krause singled, Ruben Salazar walked, and Richard Austin hit an 0-2 pitch for an RBI-single to score Krause and give Fargo-Moorhead a 4-3 lead.

Peschel worked a total of five scoreless innings, yielding just two hits and striking out four. Brandon Culp relieved Peschel in the seventh and earned the win by blanking Winnipeg over the final three innings, fanning three.

Goldeyes starter Ben Moore took the loss for Winnipeg, despite striking out ten batters over seven and two-third innings.

2006 Northern League Playoff Results & Schedule

Semifinal Series: East Division

Game 1: Tuesday, September 5: Schaumburg 7, Gary 6 (11 innings)
Game 2: Wednesday, September 6: Schaumburg 2, Gary 0
Game 3: Friday, September 8: Gary 1, Schaumburg 0
Game 4 Saturday, September 9: Gary 10, Schaumburg 1
Game 5 Sunday, September 10: Schaumburg (Blake Williams, 0-0) @ Gary
(Josh Habel, 0-1), 2 p.m.

Semifinal Series: West Division

Game 1: Tuesday, September 5: Winnipeg 8, Fargo-Moorhead 0
Game 2: Wednesday, September 6: Winnipeg 6, Fargo-Moorhead 4
Game 3: Friday, September 8: Fargo-Moorhead 2, Winnipeg 0
Game 4 Saturday, September 9: Fargo-Moorhead 4, Winnipeg 3
Game 5: Sunday, September 10: Winnipeg (Luis Villareal, 1-0) @
Fargo-Moorhead (Brion Treadway, 0-1), 6:05 p.m.

Championship Series:

Game 1: Tuesday, September 12: West Division @ East Division

Game 2: Wednesday, September 13: West Division @ East Division

Game 3: Friday, September 15: East Division @ West Division

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, September 16: East Division @ West Division

Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday, September 17: East Division @ West Division