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 St. Paul Saints

Dobnak Joins Two Exclusive Clubs with 10 K, 100 Pitch Performance as Saints Win Fifth Straight 3-1

June 15, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

LOUISVILLE, KY - Randy Dobnak did something on Saturday night at Louisville Slugger Field that no other St. Paul Saints pitcher has ever done. He joined two exclusive clubs: the 10 strikeout and 100 pitch club, but became the first pitcher in franchise history to accomplish both in one game. He tossed 6.0 shutout innings, Matt Wallner was perfect on the night and the Saints won for the fifth consecutive time, and a franchise-tying sixth straight on the road in a 3-1 victory over the Louisville Bats.

It started in the very first inning for Dobnak when he struck out the side. He gave up a two-out single in the second and a one out single in the third, but fanned three over those two innings.

Matt Wallner continued his torrid June. He came in slashing .347/.418/.796 in June with a league high six home runs in the month. He added to the total with an opposite field solo homer to left-center in the fourth, his 14th of the season, giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.

Dobnak retired the final 11 men he faced from one out in the third until his final out in the sixth. He punctuated his night by striking out Rece Hinds with his 100th pitch of the night. Dobnak went 6.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out 10. The 10 strikeouts were a career high surpassing the nine he had on July 1, 2019 while with Double-A Pensacola vs. Mississippi. He becomes the third pitcher to fan 10 in a game in Saints history joining Griffin Jax on May 28, 2021 at Iowa and David Festa, who has done it three times this season. Dobnak also became the third pitcher in franchise history to throw at least 100 pitches joining Andrew Albers, who did it twice (104 on August 15, 2021 at Indianapolis and 100 on May 14, 2021 vs. Iowa) and Mario Sanchez (103 pitches on June 2, 2022 at Iowa). Dobnak and Festa, who struck out 10 on Friday night, become the third International League teammates to strike out at least 10 in back-to-back starts this season joining Syracuse's Christian Scott and Dom Hamel on April 10 & 11 and Gwinnett's Bryce Elder and Hudson Waldrep on June 1 & 2.

The Saints extended their lead in the seventh and this one was also started by Wallner. He led off with a line drive single into right-center. Wallner finished 4-4 with a home run, RBI, and two runs scored. Yunior Severino followed with a walk. Jair Camargo made it 2-0 with a double to center. After a pitching change, Tony Kemp's sacrifice fly increased the lead to 3-0.

Josh Winder picked up for Dobnak and pitched a perfect seventh. The Bats got their first runner to second in the eighth inning. With no one on and two outs, back-to-back singles by Levi Jordan and Blake Dunn put runners at first and second, but Winder got Liván Soto to ground out ending the inning. Winder went 2.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while striking out one.

Kody Funderburk came on to close it out in the ninth. He retired the first two hitters on a groundout and strike out, but hit Edwin Ríos. He took second on defensive indifference. PJ Higgins then bounced a single up the middle scoring Ríos making it 3-1. Pinch hitter Hernán Pérez reached on a fielding error by shortstop Diego Castillo putting the tying runs on and bringing the winning run to the plate. Funderburk, however, struck out Austin Wynns to end the game. The same two teams meet in the finale of the six-game series on Sunday afternoon at Louisville Slugger Field at 12:05 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP Caleb Boushley (6-1, 3.88) to the mound against Bats LHP Brandon Leibrandt (1-0, 3.66). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

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