Friday, June 8, 2012

On This Date: Sloppy Game Ends in a Tie

June 8, 1897 - The Fargo Divorcees met the Grand Forks Senators in a poorly played afternoon match up. Backed by a seven run 5th inning, Fargo led 12-5 after five and a half. Sloppy defense in the 8th and 9th squandered a certain Fargo victory - Hartman and Reddy Hill had errors in the 8th, but it was Fargo's shortstop Russell whose misplay proved most costly. With two outs in the ninth, Grand Forks right fielder Rudge hit a "little grounder" which Russell couldn't handle cleanly, allowing the tying run to score. With the game tied 12-12, the teams went to extra innings. After neither team scored in the 10th, the game was called a tie at 5 p.m. to allow the Grand Forks team to catch their scheduled train home. The game was slated to be completed at a later date. In all, the game featured four hit batters, two passed balls, and 15 errors, Fargo with seven and Grand Forks eight. Remarkably, only one of Fargo's runs was earned, while Grand Forks tallied six earned runs.

Charles Jahnke homered for Fargo and future major leaguer Joe Marshall went deep for Grand Forks. (Incidentally, Marshall later became known as "Home Run" Joe, despite hitting no home runs in 118 major league at-bats. Marshall earned the nickname for his minor league work, which included a very impressive 25 homers for the San Francisco Pirates of the Pacific National League in 1903.)

Gus Munch pitched all ten innings for Fargo and struck out eleven Senators, but did allow fourteen hits. Grand Forks pitcher Harris went the distance, striking out only three Divorcees, but scattering ten hits over his ten innings of work. In the end, the Senators' miscues in the field sabotaged his solid pitching performance.

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