Epic Comeback, Saints Score Five in Ninth to Shock RedHawks 7-6
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints have used the ninth inning to come back before this season, but never to the extent of what happened on Tuesday night at Newman Outdoor Field. Down to their final three outs, and trailing by four, the Saints used a five-run ninth to storm back for a 7-6 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The win improved the Saints to 23-21 on the season.
With the Saints trailing 6-2 in the ninth the inning started harmlessly enough on a single to center by lefty Jake Smith off of lefty Anthony Pacillo. Jose Nivar then took over on the mound and he hit Max Murphy. Nivar left the game with an injury and the RedHawks brought in their closer Randy McCurry. Noah Perio Jr. hit a fly ball to center that Devan Ahart never saw and the ball fell in for a single to load the bases. Burt Reynolds and Dan Johnson each walked to force in runs, making it 6-4. Dante Bichette Jr. then cued one off the end of the bat that just squeaked through the right side of the infield allowing two runs to score and tying the game at six. McCurry departed for Andrew Woeck. He got Justin O'Conner to ground out to short with the infield drawn in. Then the RedHawks intentionally walked Matt Snyder to get to Anthony Phillips. Phillips would drive a sacrifice fly to left-center scoring pinch runner Luke Pettersen for what proved to be the game winning run.
With the Saints trailing 2-0 in the fourth O'Conner got the Saints on the board with a solo homer to left, his eighth of the season, to make it 2-1.
In the fifth Reynolds tied it up with an opposite field homer to right, his eighth of the season, and fourth with the Saints.
The RedHawks, however, would regain the lead in the bottom of the inning when Ahart crushed a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season, making it 3-2.
The RedHawks opened up the lead in the sixth when Charlie Valerio led off with a double and Keury De La Cruz walked. Starter Matt Solter left the game for Beck Wheeler. He struck out Leobaldo Pina, but Tim Colwell doubled home Valerio to make it 4-2. The next batter, Yhoxian Medina, singled home a pair to make it 6-2, a lead the Saints would erase in the ninth.
The Saint have now scored 28 runs in the ninth inning this season, the second highest scoring inning only behind the 40 runs in the fifth.
It was also the third victory for the Saints when trailing entering the ninth. Over the last three seasons the Saints were 1-97 when trailing going into the ninth.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday night at Newman Outdoor Field. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (1-1, 4.21) to the mound and the RedHawks are TBA. The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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