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Eric Peterson, Published June 05 2013

Newly acquired Graham lifts RedHawks to victory against Lincoln

FARGO – Another Graham made a mark on the North Dakota State campus.

Left fielder Tyler Graham cracked a sacrifice fly that lifted the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to a 5-4 American Association victory in 10 innings against the Lincoln Saltdogs on Wednesday at Newman Outdoor Field.

“It’s nice to get off to a good start and to do anything to help the team win,” Graham said of helping F-M win in his first game with the team.

Graham’s sac fly capped an extra-inning triumph, which was a continuation of a game that was suspended Tuesday due to wet field conditions, and was also the first game of a doubleheader.

The Saltdogs salvaged a doubleheader split with a 2-1 victory in the second game, which was seven innings. That victory snapped a five-game F-M winning streak. The RedHawks (10-10) remained at .500 and have won eight of their last 10 games after a slow start.

“We’ve got to just put it behind us and keep rolling,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”

The RedHawks signed Graham prior to Tuesday’s suspended game, but the speedster is no stranger to Fargo or the surrounding area. His sister, Lindsey Graham, is a former NDSU softball pitching standout. Tyler Graham, who played baseball at Oregon State, also has relatives in Mayville, N.D.

“I’ve been to North Dakota a lot. I’ve been to Fargo a lot,” said Graham, who is 29 years old. “My whole family lives in Mayville so it’s good to be around familiar faces and be around family. … I’ve been here a lot growing up. We came out to North Dakota every year, and I’m really familiar with the area. It’s just a comfortable place for me to be.”

Graham started the season with the York (Pa.) Revolution of the Atlantic League, an independent league with teams primarily located on the East Coast. He was released on May 23 after he suffered a groin injury.

Graham batted .245 in 24 games with York.

“It was the best thing that could have happened,” Graham said. “I got a chance to rest and get it back to 100 percent.”

Graham made his F-M debut Tuesday night and cracked an RBI single in his first-at bat. That sparked a four-run second inning in a game that was halted in the fourth due to rain. The game was continued Wednesday night and ended after Graham delivered a walk-off sacrifice fly.

Graham said he also was familiar with RedHawks catcher Todd Jennings through the San Francisco Giants organization.

“I had some other places to go and then when Fargo called, I knew Todd Jennings from the Giants, and he just re-confirmed that this was a great place to play and a really fun atmosphere,” said Graham, who played in 10 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

The RedHawks missed a chance to earn the doubleheader sweep on a night when temperatures dipped below 60 degrees.

F-M had a 1-0 lead in the second game, but the Saltdogs scratched across two runs in the fourth inning. Both of those runs were unearned as Lincoln took advantage of two F-M errors.

“We made two errors in an inning, and that’s really what the game ended up being,” Simunic said.

The four game series concludes at 12:30 p.m. today. F-M has won two of the first three games.

NOTES: Right-hander Alex Caldera (3-1, 2.66 ERA) is scheduled to start for the RedHawks today. Lincoln is expected to counter with left-hander Matt Mywater (1-1, 5.65 ERA). … F-M third baseman Ronnie Bourquin cracked a single in the second inning of Game 2 on Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 19 consecutive games.

LINCOLN REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Carroll cf 4 0 1 1 Pnprse ss 4 0 1 1

Dglas dh 5 1 1 0 Cesar 2b 5 0 0 0

Espns 2b 4 0 1 0 Jckson cf 4 0 3 2

Gac 1b 5 1 1 2 Alberts rf 5 1 1 0

Raben rf 4 0 2 0 Brchold 1b 3 1 1 0

Frgatch lf 5 1 3 0 Rthrfrd dh 5 0 0 0

Prvchr 3b 4 0 1 0 Brquin 3b 3 1 2 0

OCnnll c 3 1 0 0 Graham lf 4 1 1 2

Gomez ss 4 0 2 1 Jnnings c 3 1 0 0

Totals 38 4 12 4 Totals 36 5 9 5

L 012 001 000 0–4 12 1

FM 040 000 000 1–5 9 0

E–Gomez (4). LOB–Lincoln 9, RedHawks 10. DP–Lincoln 1, RedHawks 0. 2B–Douglas (3), Raben (5), Jackson (3). HR–Gac (7). SB–Espinosa (1), Raben (3), O’Connell (1). CS–Espinosa (1), Provencher (2).

LINCOLN

IP H R ER BB SO

Moreau 3 6 4 4 4 0

McKiernan 4 1 0 0 2 3

Thomas 2 0 0 0 0 1

Parker L Xc 2 1 1 1 0

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Burnside 3Xc 6 3 3 1 4

King 1Zc 1 0 0 1 1

Kilcrease 4 4 1 1 1 4

Harris W 1 1 0 0 0 0

Umpires–Home: Linton. First: Heine. Third: Stegner. Time–2:56. A–3,628.

LINCOLN REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Carroll cf 3 0 0 0 Pnprse ss 3 1 1 0

Douglas rf 3 1 0 0 Graham lf 3 0 1 0

Espns 2b 3 1 0 0 Jckson cf 1 0 0 0

Gac dh 3 0 0 0 Alberts rf 3 0 2 0

Raben 1b 3 0 1 0 Brchld 1b 2 0 0 0

Frgatch lf 2 0 1 1 Rthrfrd dh 2 0 0 0

Prvchr 3b 3 0 0 0 Brquin 3b 3 0 1 0

Mayo c 3 0 0 0 Cesar 2b 3 0 0 0

Payne ss 2 0 0 0 Jennings c 3 0 0 0

Totals 25 2 2 1 Totals 23 1 5 1

L 000 200 0 –2 2 0

FM 100 000 0 –1 5 3

E–Cesar (1), Hess (1), Stanton (1). LOB–Lincoln 3, RedHawks 5. SB–Doublas (2). CS–Jackson (2), Brachold (1).

LINCOLN

IP H R ER BB SO

Melendez W 5 4 1 1 2 4

Zocchi 1 1 0 0 1 2

Rodriguez S 1 0 0 0 0 1

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Stanton L 6 2 2 0 0 7

Harris Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Hess Xc 0 0 0 1 1

Umpires–Home: Heine. First: Stegner. Third: Linton. Time–2:06. A–3,632.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com