FARGO, N.D. 6-24-2010 – Jeff Beachum broke up Matt Mossey’s perfect game with a one-out infield single in the eighth inning but that was all the second-year hurler would allow as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks blanked the Gary SouthShore RailCats 7-0 Thursday night at Newman Outdoor Field in the opener of a four-game series.
Mossey (3-1), making just the 13th start of his professional career, dazzled from the beginning and faced only three three-ball counts in his almost-historic outing. The former University of Iowa star retired the first 21 hitters in a row to get through seven, and after Tanner Townsend’s rocket line drive was tracked down on an excellent play by Nic Jackson deep in left-center to start the eighth it started to feel like Mossey’s night. But Beachum hit a chopper between third and short one batter later and, despite a strong throw from RedHawks shortstop Jake Krause, beat the peg to first by a step. Mossey got the next hitter, Louis Ott, to hit into a double play to end the inning and would retire the side in the ninth to face only the minimum 27 hitters in his second shutout of the season.
Mossey, who did not get out of the first inning in his only previous start against the RailCats, threw a two-hit complete game shutout May 24 against Lake County and came close to throwing the first perfect game in Northern League history and first no-hitter in RedHawks history. The right-hander needed only 95 pitches in his outing, and recorded five strikeouts.
The RedHawks provided plenty of offense for Mossey, starting with a Mike Coles solo home run leading off the first inning. Fargo added four more in the second, capped by a Zach Penprase three-run double, and Eric Campbell hit a two-run home run in the third to build the 7-0 lead. Fargo had only two more hits the rest of the way, as Brad Furnish and James Baker finished the game with back-to-back perfect innings. Tom Thornton (1-1) started and took the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 6.0 innings.
The RailCats had 33 hits in their just-completed three-game series in Winnipeg but only the one Thursday, as Ott’s season-long eight-game hitting streak came to an end in the loss. Townsend actually hit two balls hard, with Jackson tracking down another hard hit fly ball leading off the second inning.
The RailCats (18-16) and RedHawks (20-10) meet again Friday night at 7:02 p.m. with Brad Halsey (1-2, 4.74 ERA) making his sixth start of the year against Fargo-Moorhead left-hander Jake Laber (3-1, 4.50 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: Thursday’s game was the third time this season the RailCats did not record a hit in the first five innings. The ‘Cats had come back to win the previous two contests …outfielder Cristian Guerrero missed his ninth straight game with a wrist injury, and infielder Chris Carrara missed his second straight, also with an injured wrist .. the last Northern League no-hitter was thrown by Joliet’s Nate Sevier, August 18, 2007, against the RailCats in a seven-inning game.