Bats Walked-Off in St. Paul Saturday Night
ST. PAUL, MN - Jake Rucker hit a game-tying home run and a walk-off sacrifice fly, carrying the St. Paul Saints to a 4-3 win over the Louisville Bats Saturday night at CHS Field.
Rucker, who was making his Triple-A debut after being called-up from High-A Cedar Rapids earlier in the day, tied the game with his two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning before winning it on the sacrifice fly in the ninth.
The game began as a pitcher's duel between Bats' starter Ben Lively and St. Paul's Randy Dobnak. The Saints' right-hander held Louisville off the scoreboard through four innings, striking out four.
Lively matched Dobnak pitch for pitch until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Wander Javier finally broke the scoreless tie with a two-out RBI single, giving St. Paul a 1-0 lead. Lively ended up pitching five innings on the night, allowing just that one run on five hits.
The St. Paul lead only lasted until the top of the sixth, when Louisville's offense broke through against Saints' reliever Cole Sands. With one out, Cristian Santana walked and later moved to second base on a groundout. With two outs, Stephen Piscotty came through with a single, scoring Santana and tying the game.
In the top of the seventh inning, Mike Siani hit a two-run home run to give the Bats' their first lead of the night. It was Siani's first homer with Louisville since being promoted from Double-A Chattanooga on September 13.
Rucker's two-run homer in the next half inning tied the game at 3-3. The score remained level until the bottom of the ninth, when John Andreoli led off with a walk. Bats' reliever Deck McGuire then made a wild pick-off throw to first base, allowing Andreoli to advance all the way to third. That set the stage for Rucker, who's sacrifice fly gave St. Paul the 4-3 victory.
The Bats and Saints will finish their six-game series Sunday afternoon at CHS Field. Connor Overton (MLB Rehab) will make the start for the Bats, opposing Ronny Henriquez (3-4, 5.66 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. ET.
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