Saints Dominate in Exhibition Opener 12-1 over South Metro All-Stars

May 12, 2018 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

MIESVILLE, MN - With St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis attending his daughter Casey's college graduation the managerial reigns were turned over to radio broadcaster Sean Aronson. In their first exhibition game of 2018 the Saints rallied around the diminutive skipper pounding out 18 hits and obliterating the South Metro All-Stars 12-1 in Jack Ruhr Field in Miesville.

The annual townball tradition started back in 2008 in Miesville and the Saints celebrated the 10-year anniversary of these barnstorming games right where it all began. The Saints scored in six of the nine innings, clubbed five home runs and had eight total extra-base hits. The scoring started in the first inning when Jordan Smith roped a double to left-center and scored on a two-run home run from Max Murphy to make it 2-0.

With the score 3-0 in the fifth Murphy doubled with one out. With two outs, Noah Perio Jr. crushed a two-run home run to right giving the Saints a 5-0 lead.

In the sixth catcher Justin O'Conner clubbed a solo homer to left putting the Saints up 6-0.

In the seventh Brady Shoemaker, who became only the third player in Saints history to smack 20 home runs last season, hit a solo homer to straightaway center to make it 7-0. After Perio Jr. doubled, he stole third, and Dante Bichette Jr. followed by crushing a two-run homer to left making it 9-0 Saints. They tacked on one more in the inning when JJ Gould doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Josh Allen's RBI single to give the Saints a 10-0 lead. Allen finished the night 3-4 with two RBI.

In the eighth the Saints finished their scoring when Murphy led off by reaching on a fielding error by the shortstop. Jayce Boyd walked putting runners and first and second. Perio Jr., who finished the night 3-4 and a triple shy of the cycle, singled to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Bichette Jr. and an RBI fielder's choice from Gould gave the Saints a 12-0 lead.

The Saints pitchers were just as dominant striking out 13 on the night and former Major Leaguer, Jake Esch, tossed 4.0 scoreless innings allowing two hits and striking out three.

Tom Wilhelmsen, who pitched 344 games in the Majors, pitched a scoreless fifth inning while striking out one.

Mike Devine worked a scoreless sixth inning fanning two.

Ken Frosh faced two batters in the seventh and retired them both while Ryan Schlosser retired the lone batter he faced on a strikeout.

In the eighth the South Metro All-Stars scored their lone run off of Ryan Boelter when Mike Ludwig reached on an infield dribbler to first. Eric Pittman followed with a walk and a passed ball moved the runners up. With one out Deryk Masks singled home the lone run. Boelter, however, struck out all three outs in the inning.

Jake Matthys worked a perfect ninth striking out two.

The Saints begin their exhibition season on Monday night at CHS Field against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m.

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