June 18, 2017 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints
WINNIPEG, MB - The St. Paul Saints appeared as though they would cruise to victory on Sunday afternoon at Shaw Park. Instead they needed to hang on over the final four innings as the bullpen was perfect from the sixth inning on and the Saints defeated the Winnipeg Goldeyes 7-6. The Saints improved to a league tying best 19-10 and increased their lead in the North to 2.0 games over the Goldeyes as they took two out of three in the series.
With the game tied at six in the sixth the Saints loaded the bases with nobody out. Brady Burzynski singled off of reliever Mitchell Lambson. Nate Hanson followed with a double off the glove of a diving third baseman Wes Darvill that put runners at second and third. Brady Shoemaker was then hit by a pitch. Lambson was able to get Anthony Gallas to fly out to shallow center for the first out. Tony Thomas came through with a sacrifice fly that gave the Saints a one run lead.
That was all the bullpen needed. Vinny Nittoli tossed a perfect sixth and seventh inning, including a strikeout to end the seventh of David Bergin, who had hit a two-run home run against him on Friday night. Nittoli fanned two in his 2.0 innings of work.
In the eighth Caleb Thielbar handled the four, five and six hitters on a fly out, ground out and fly out.
In the ninth the Saints turned the ball over to their closer Seth Rosin. He and .385 hitter Wes Darvill battled to lead off the inning, but Rosin got him to pop out to third for the first out. Rosin got Mason Katz to fly out to left and punctuated the win with a strikeout looking of the number nine hitter Alixon Suarez.
The Saints offense had another successful day against a Top 10 pitcher in the league. Edwin Carl came in with a 2.78 ERA, eighth in the American Association. In the first Danny Oh led off the game with a single to center and Brady Burzynski followed with a bloop single to left. With one out Brady Shoemaker gave the Saints a 1-0 lead with an RBI double into the right field corner. Back-to-back RBI singles by Anthony Gallas and Tony Thomas made it 3-0.
The Goldeyes wasted no time in answering off of Saints starter Jason Creasy. With one out Josh Romanski doubled to left. With two outs Reggie Abercrombie walked. Shawn Pleffner hit a hard ground ball towards up the middle that ricocheted off the glove of Tanner Vavra into shallow center that scored Romanski to make it 3-1 Saints. David Rohm then lined an RBI single into left making it 3-2.
The Saints put up another three spot in the third. Shoemaker led off with a double to center when Abercrombie initially came in and couldn't recover as the ball went over his head. Gallas walked and, with one out and runners at the corners, Tim Colwell's grounder to first went under the glove of a backhanded try by Bergin. The error scored a run and put runners at second and third. With the infield drawn in Maxx Garrett hit a broken bat looper over the drawn in infield scoring both runs and giving the Saints a four run lead at 6-2. Carl went 5.0 innings allowing six runs, five earned, on nine hits while walking two and striking out five.
Creasy retired 11 in a row from the last out of the first until the first out of the fifth. That's when he ran into trouble. On a 1-2 pitch to Suarez he just missed striking him out and the next pitch hit Suarez. Andrew Sohn followed with a single to center and Romanski walked loading the bases. Back-to-back doubles by Bergin and Abercrombie tied the game at six. Creasy went 5.0 innings allowing six runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four.
The Saints head to Sioux Falls Stadium for a three game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries beginning Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (4-1, 3.14) to the mound against Canaries RHP Miles Nordgren (1-1, 4.61). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.