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Silviano slam powers dramatic comeback as RedHawks advance to American Association championship series

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks scored 10 runs over their final three at-bats to rally to victory and advance to the American Association baseball championship series.

Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks right fielder John Silviano belted a dramatic grand slam Thursday night at Newman Outdoor Field to help the RedHawks advance to the league championship series. Sean Rice / Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
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FARGO — John Silviano provided the brawn in a dramatic Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks comeback Thursday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

Silviano belted a grand slam in the seventh inning to put the RedHawks in the lead for good as they rallied for a 10-6 victory against the Chicago Dogs in Game 5 of the American Association North Division championship series.

“It’s probably the coolest thing that’s happened to me in my professional career," Silviano said.

The victory gave the RedHawks a 3-2 series victory to advance to the league's championship series, which starts Friday at Newman Outdoor Field against the Kansas City Monarchs. F-M is playing for a league championship for the first time since 2010, and also making its first trip to the American Association championship series.

"There’s still more to do, but man this feels really good," RedHawks manager Chris Coste said during his postgame interview in the stadium.


The RedHawks faced a 5-0 deficit through five innings before rallying to score 10 runs over their final three at-bats.

“The whole team chemistry, we know our offense will be there at some point in the game," said RedHawks reliever Alex DuBord, who earned the save. "It’s just a matter of time. When Silvy hit that we were all hyped about that and we knew the bats were coming through.”

DuBord pitched out of trouble in both the eighth and ninth innings as the Dogs left the bases loaded in both innings. RedHawks center fielder Alex Boxwell made the final out, catching a fly ball off Ryan Haug's bat.

“As soon as I (saw) Box camping under the ball, I knew that it was caught, game’s over and we were heading to the championship," said DuBord, who is a Fargo South graduate. "It was just straight celebration from there on out.”

Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks reliever Alex DuBord earned the save in Game 5 of the American Association North Division championship series Thursday night at Newman Outdoor Field. Sean Rice / Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
Sean Rice / Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks

The RedHawks vaulted into the lead with a five-run seventh inning. Pinch hitter Nick Novak started the rally with a double and later scored on a Correlle Prime single to right field. John Silviano capped the rally with a two-out grand slam that disappeared into the night over the fence in right field. That gave the RedHawks a 7-5 lead, its first lead of the game.


“When he made contact, I think we all knew it was gone and then it was just a lot of disbelief," Coste said.

Silviano said what happened after he struck the game-changing grand slam was a blur.

“I saw it leave the bat," said Silviano, who went 2-for-5 with six RBIs. "I don’t even remember watching the ball and then I just turned to my dugout and started going nuts. I just got caught up in the moment.”

The Dogs threatened to take the lead back in the eighth inning after an Anfernee Grier RBI single cut the RedHawks lead to 7-6 off F-M reliever Joe Jones. Chicago then loaded the bases with one out. DuBord came on and worked out of the jam. He struck out Dogs lead-off hitter Brennan Metzger and then got Michael Crouse to ground out to end the inning and preserve the one-run lead. DuBord got the final five outs to close out the game.

“The emotions were there," DuBord said. “I was telling myself on the mound, don’t let it get to you, keep calm, do what you do best.”

Boxwell belted a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to push the lead to 8-6. Novak, who reached on a single, scored on a Chicago error. Dylan Kelly added an RBI single to give the RedHawks a 10-6 lead heading into the ninth inning.


The RedHawks started their comeback in the sixth inning after designated hitter Jordan George drew a lead-off walk and Kelly added a double two batters later. Silviano then delivered a two-run double to center field that scored George and Kelly and the Dogs led 5-2 through six innings.

The Dogs got off to another hot start, scoring four runs in the first inning. Chicago took advantage of a RedHawks error and parlayed that miscue into four unearned runs. Metzger led off the game with a twisting fly ball to center field that Will Zimmerman couldn't secure. Metzger ended up at second base after the error.

Crouse followed with an RBI double to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead. After RedHawks starter Ryan Flores got the next two out, Chicago came up with a pair of clutch hits. Second baseman Joey Terdoslavich cracked an RBI double that scored Crouse from second base. T.J. Bennett followed with a two-run home run for a 4-0 lead.

“We never lost faith," Silviano said of the early deficit. "We never doubted each other and what we could do as a team.”

Bennett continued his first-inning hot streak. He belted a grand slam in Chicago's first at-bat in Game 4 to cap a five-run first inning to spark an 11-1 victory to force a Game 5. Terdoslavich blasted a solo home run in the fifth inning Thursday night to build a 5-0 lead, but the RedHawks rallied in the late innings to clinch the series.

“The two right teams were here playing for a Game 5," Coste said. “Two of the best teams in the league all year, fighting it out to play Kansas City.”

Related Topics: BASEBALL
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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