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RedHawks fall short, but Leach stays hot

Two weeks of inactivity have not fazed Jalal Leach. The newest Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks had his second consecutive multi-hit game Tuesday in the RedHawks' 9-3 Northern League loss against the Lincoln Saltdogs at Newman Outdoor Field. "I'm just try...

Two weeks of inactivity have not fazed Jalal Leach.

The newest Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks had his second consecutive multi-hit game Tuesday in the RedHawks' 9-3 Northern League loss against the Lincoln Saltdogs at Newman Outdoor Field.

"I'm just trying not to do too much when I came back," said Leach, who was activated from the disabled list Monday.

Prior to Monday, Leach hadn't played since Aug. 9 -- when he was with Winnipeg -- with a hip flexor injury. The RedHawks claimed Leach off waivers from the Goldeyes Aug. 16.

"He's got a good short swing," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. "He gets the bat to the front of the plate."

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Leach went 3-for-5 against the Saltdogs Tuesday and went 2-for-4 in his F-M debut against Kansas City Monday.

"He doesn't look like he's lost much in the little time he's taken off," Simunic said.

RedHawks center fielder Joe Mathis said the left-handed hitting Leach is a welcomed addition to the lineup. Mathis and Leach went to spring training together with the Seattle Mariners in 1997.

"I've played with Leach and I've played against Leach," Mathis said.

"He's a tremendous asset to this team. He brings some knowledge to this team."

Leach has no reservations about moving from Winnipeg to the RedHawks, heated rivals, this late in the season.

"I've been on so many teams in so many places, it's just baseball," said Leach, who played in eight games with the San Francisco Giants in 2001. "I don't worry too much about it."

Leach stroked a double and two singles in his first three at-bats Tuesday, but the Saltdogs pulled away late with a five-run eighth inning.

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Lincoln designated hitter Ira Smith capped the decisive rally with a two-run home run off RedHawks reliever Jon Hooker.

While the RedHawks had 13 hits (one more than Lincoln), they didn't deliver when needed.

F-M left 11 runners on base.

Trailing 3-1 at the time, the RedHawks failed to score in the sixth inning despite loading the bases with one out. Saltdogs reliever James Beever worked out of the jam, striking out Eddie Fink. Mathis then grounded out to end the potential threat.

"We didn't hit the ball in key situations," Mathis said.

NOTES: Right-handed pitcher Hank Thoms (6-2, 2.42 ERA) is scheduled to start today for the RedHawks. The Saltdogs are expected to counter with left-hander Thomas Ford (9-4, 3.87 ERA). ... The RedHawks have won 19 of the 26 series they have played in this season. F-M has lost four series and split three. ... The RedHawks are scheduled to host Game 1 and Game 2 of the Western Division championship series next Tuesday and Wednesday at Newman.

LINCOLN REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

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Carpenter 2 1 0 1 Mathis cf 5 0 2 2

Smith dh 5 1 1 2 Sprout ss 5 0 0 0

Warner 1b 4 1 2 2 Salazar 1b 4 0 2 0

Moreno lf 5 0 1 0 Melo 3b 5 0 0 0

Patton 3b 3 3 2 1 Leach rf 5 0 3 0

Dskcil 2b/ss 5 1 2 0 Ward 2b 4 0 0 0

DLsSntos ss 2 0 0 0 Mazer c 4 1 2 0

Rogers ph 3 1 2 0 Garrison lf 4 2 3 1

Church rf 5 1 1 1 Fink dh 4 0 1 0

Smith c 3 0 1 0

Totals 37 9 12 7 40 3 13 3

Lincoln 002 001 051--9 12 1

RedHawks 000 010 020--3 13 1

E--Church (2), Sprout (25). DP--RedHawks 1. LOB--Lincoln 8, RedHawks 11. 2B--Leach (7), Mazer (11). HR--Smith (2), Warner (16), Patton (5). HBP--Carpenter, Patton. SH--Smith. SF--Carpenter. SB--Patton (7), Garrison (7).

IP H R ER BB SO

Lincoln

Truty W,6-5 5Zc 9 1 1 1 5

Beever 2Xc 4 2 2 0 2

Pageler 1 0 0 0 0 0

RedHawks

Peschel L,5-3 5 6 3 3 2 7

Young 1 0 0 0 0 0

Moak 1 3 4 4 1 0

Hooker 2 3 2 2 0 1

WP--Truty. HB--Peschel 2.

Peschel faced 3 batters in the sixth.

Moak faced 4 batters in the eighth.

Umpires--Home: Tracy Roles, First: Dan Gnadt, Third: Ben Franson. Time--2:58. A--3,862.

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

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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