FARGO-Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks starter Tyler Herron was pitching in the Far East, representing a baseball team from the Middle East last March.
Herron played for Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
"The best experience I've ever had in baseball for sure," Herron said.
Vaughn Bryan made a chilly Saturday night a good experience for the RedHawks, delivering the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning. Bryan's run-scoring hit lifted F-M to a 4-3 victory against the Gary SouthShore RailCats in American Association baseball before 2,855 fans at Newman Outdoor Field.
The RedHawks (18-18) snapped a two-game losing streak to even the three-game series with the RailCats at one apiece. The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Herron is scheduled to start for F-M.
"I'm trying to be a leader, lead by example," Herron said.
The 30-year-old Herron played for an Israel team that made it the second round of the WBC. He pitched in Israel's final game of the WBC, an 8-3 loss against Japan in the Tokyo Dome before 43,179 fans.
"It was a packed house," Herron said. "It was the coolest experience I've ever had."
Herron said because he had Jewish heritage in his family, that allowed him to play for Israel in the WBC. The team made a surprise run to the second round of the tournament.
"Baseball is not huge over there," Herron said. "The whole thing of the WBC is to build the game around the world."
After the WBC, Herron started this season with Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League. The right-hander went 3-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 starts before he was released. Herron signed with the RedHawks last Tuesday, earning the victory at the Kansas City T-Bones in his return start.
"He brings it all," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. "He brings an attitude. He brings some ability. He brings a fastball. He brings competitiveness."
Herron has a history with the RedHawks, pitching for the team in three previous seasons, including 2015 and 2016. Last year, Herron had a 5-1 record with a 0.80 ERA with the RedHawks before he was picked up by the New York Mets organization.
Herron said it was an easy decision to return to the RedHawks after his stint in the Mexican League.
"I love it," Herron said of Fargo. "This is my home away from home for sure. I enjoy it here."
Herron is expected to bolster a pitching staff that ranked fourth in the American Association with a 3.93 team ERA through 35 games. The RedHawks have struggled at the plate during that same time span with a .231 team batting average.
"It's frustrating," Simunic said. "The pitching has been pretty consistent and the hitting has been nonexistent. It's a little bit of an issue."
The RedHawks had 10 hits in Saturday's win against Gary. Mitch Delfino, Kes Carter, Charlie Valerio and Bryan all had multi-hit games. F-M starter Jose Almarante pitched seven strong innings, although he didn't factor in the decision. The right-hander limited the RailCats to two runs on three hits, while striking out six batters.