Tyler Alexander Shuts Down Saints Offense; RedHawks Win 8-1
A night after watching St. Thomas graduate Eric Veglahn shut down his own team’s offense, Tyler Alexander returned the favor Friday night, allowing just three-hits over eight-innings to lead the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to an 8-1 victory over the St. Paul Saints. The victory gave the RedHawks a split of the first two games of the four-game set.
Alexander seemingly got better over the first three innings. He allowed a lead-off single to Alonzo Harris and hit Nate Hanson with one out in the first, but a double-play ended the threat. He then retired the side in order over the next two innings to keep the Saints from mounting any kind of rally.
Alexander looked incredibly good, and so did his offense. While he was blanking the Saints, his offense was putting up five runs through the first three frames. It began in the first inning when Ryan Pineda walked with one out. Two batters later Josh Mazzola singled to keep the inning alive and Brian Humphries scored both runners with a base hit. That made it 2-0.
In the bottom of the second the RedHawks extended their lead to three. Kes Carter singled to start the inning and moved to second when Luke Bailey was hit by a pitch. A sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position and K.D. Lang plated Carter with a single.
In the third, Humphries drew a one out walk. Two batters later Carter went deep to extend the lead to five. It was Carter’s fourth homer of the season, and was plenty of support for Alexander on this night.
St. Paul finally got on the board in the top of the fourth. The Fargo-Moorhead starter retired the first two batters of the inning, but Angelo Songco took an 0-1 offering from Alexander and ripped it over the right field wall for his ninth homerun of the year.
The homerun ruined the shutout, but it would also be the last hit that St. Paul would record for three innings. Alexander (7-3) retired the next nine batters in a row, only seeing his streak end when Tony Thomas singled with two outs in the seventh. He would be finished after 8-innnings, allowing 3-hits, no walks and just one run. He also struck out 10, including at least one in every inning but the seventh.
Oddly enough, the seventh would also be the last inning that Fargo-Moorhead scored in the game, plating three-runs in the frame. A single by Carter scored Mazzola and Bryan Johns two-run single scored Dustin Geiger and Carter. That made the score 8-1 which would be the final.
Carter finished the game 3-4 with 3-runs and 3-RBI. Humphries drove in two.
These two teams will play Game 3 of their series tomorrow night. Mark Hamburger (8-0, 2.77) will go for his American Association leading ninth win. He will be opposed by left-hander Will Solomon (2-0, 2.11). Game time is 6:00.
By Robert Pannier