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 Toledo Mud Hens

Mud Hens Massacre Saints 20-9 in Series Finale

June 23, 2024 - International League (IL)
Toledo Mud Hens News Release


The Toledo Mud Hens went into Sunday's game with the St. Paul Saints looking to end a ten-game skid. Should they lose, it'd tie the longest losing streak in the team's history. This wouldn't be a worry though as the hard-hitting Hens unloaded seven home runs and won 20-9.

The Mud Hens followed up yesterday's late-game rally effort by getting ahead early on Sunday. Parker Meadows got things started with a lead-off home run to immediately shake Louie Varland. This was apparent when, following a base hit by Spencer Torkelson, Dillon Dingler expanded the Toledo lead with a home run of his own. Varland escaped the inning with three straight strikeouts, but now his team would have to try and rally from an early 3-0 deficit.

Ty Madden found himself in a first-inning predicament of his own as two walks and a base hit loaded the bases for St. Paul. Since moving to AAA, Madden has struggled to attack the strike zone. Where his "nibbling" of the corners in AA was very successful, these batters just don't bite at it. The Saints came storming back quickly as they brought in a run on a Yunior Severino double play before a Jair Camargo double had them down just 3-2. They then tied things up with an RBI single from DaShawn Keirsey. The lead was then theirs as back-to-back doubles by Will Holland and Patrick Winkel made it 5-3.

Toledo wasted no time in delivering their reply. Riley Unroe and Alvaro Gonzalez set up Andrew Navigato nicely with back-to-back doubles to put runners on second and third. Navigato reclaimed the lead with his fourth home run in just five games. That wasn't all that the Hens had in store for the Saints though, as after Meadows reached on an error, Dingler hit his second two-run homer of the game to make it 8-5 through just two innings.

The spectacular performance at the plate kept going in the third inning. Unroe scored the first of four runs with his first home run of the season. Base hits from Gonzalez and Navigato gave Meadows another opportunity to put some runs on the board. He earned an RBI double to make it 10-5. That prompted St. Paul to pull Varland and hand the ball to Aaron Rozek. That didn't quite end Varland's day though as a base hit by Dingler brought in two more runs to go against him.

In the fourth inning, a Ryan Vilade double brought home Eddys Leonard to put the Hens up 13-5. An Unroe single and a walk drawn by Gonzalez then loaded the bases with no outs. Rozek then walked Navigato and drilled Meadows to make it 15-5. Though Saints' manager Toby Gardenhire believed his team had a triple play, the inning continued with a sacrifice fly from Dingler. That ended Rozek's day and began Scott Blewett's likely unwanted time on the mound. He immediately gave up a three-run homer to Bligh Madris which not only meant the Hens were now up 19-5, but also that every Toledo hitter officially had a hit.

Despite his early struggles, Madden continued to take the mound in the fourth inning. St. Paul would find their first runs since the first inning with a Matt Wallner RBI single and picked up a second run on a wild pitch, which allowed Edouard Julien to take home. The Saints kept the momentum on their side with an RBI triple off the bat of Camargo to make it 19-8.

Blewett earned the first hitless inning against Toledo in the fifth and his teammates would help chip away at that deficit too. Madden was pulled after a fielding error by Unroe made it 19-9 and put baserunners on the corners. Trey Wingenter would load the bases with a walk as he looked for three quick outs. Wingenter would find three-straight strikeouts as his slider left batters looking lost.

The Mud Hens' bullpen would get some work while trying to close out this game. Sean Guenther, Brennan Hanifee, Andrew Magno, and Miguel Diaz combined for nine strikeouts in the final four innings.

Vilade hit a solo home run for some added insurance in the ninth, but the real question on everyone's mind was "what will Riley Unroe do?". He had a hard hit ball into right-center field, but was unable to stretch it into the triple he needed to earn the cycle.

With the 20-9 victory in their rear-view mirror, the Hens will head back to Toledo for a nine-game homestand. Tuesday's game against the Louisville Bats will begin the second half of the International League season. Going forward games will only be played using the challenge system, rather than splitting it with the ABS system.

Notables:

Riley Unroe (5-6, HR, 2 2B, RBI, 3 R)

Dillon Dingler (3-5, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R)

Andrew Navigato (2-4, HR, 2 BB, 4 RBI, 3 R)

Parker Meadows (2-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R)

Ryan Vilade (2-6, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

Bligh Madris (2-6, HR, 3 RBI, R)


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International League Stories from June 23, 2024


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