Saints Offense Comes Through in End, Get Walk-Off 4-3 Win over RailCats
ST. PAUL, MN - It's still too early to say there is something special going on in Lowertown St. Paul, but through the first 34 games of the season it certainly feels like it. Down 3-0 going into the seventh and 3-1 heading into the eighth, the St. Paul Saints came from behind with a walk-off sacrifice fly by Devon Rodriguez to win 4-3 on Saturday night at CHS Field in front of 7,719. The win is the fourth straight for the Saints and improves them to 24-10 on the season, the best record in the league.
With the Saints down 3-0 in the seventh Max Murphy, who is on his way to a Player of the Week Award, crushed a mammoth solo home run to left, his sixth home run of the week and his league leading 12th of the season. He went 2-4 on the night with a double, home run, RBI and a run scored.
In the eighth Josh Allen roped a two out double off the wall in left. Chesny Young followed with an RBI single to right-center cutting the RailCats lead to 3-2. The RailCats went to their closer Sandy Lugo, who entered play having given up one run in 14.0 innings this season. Joey Wong greeted him with an RBI double to the gap in right-center tying the game at three.
In the top of the ninth, Saints closer Todd Van Steensel needed 28 pitches to get out of a jam. Raymond Jones led off with an infield single to second. Van Steensel fanned Andy DeJesus and Zach Welz. Alex Crosby singled to center and Marcus Mooney walked to load the bases. Van Steensel would strikeout Evan Marzilli to end the inning.
With Lugo still in the game in the bottom of the ninth Dan Motl worked a leadoff walk. Blake Schmit then attempted to bunt Motl over, popped the bunt up on the first base side that Crosby dove for, but couldn't come up with. Third baseman Tom Walraven, who was charging from the other side, picked up the ball and threw out Motl at second. Schmit stole second and Brady Shoemaker was intentionally walked. Jeremy Martinez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. He has now reached base safely in 28 consecutive games. That brought up Rodriguez who swung at the first pitch and hit a shallow fly to right. Welz made the catch, but sailed his throw over the catcher Gimenez as Schmit slid in for the game winning run. It was the third walk-off win for the Saints, a year after they didn't have any.
It was a pitcher's duel for most of the night as Dustin Crenshaw went the first five innings without giving up a run and allowing just one hit. With the game scoreless in the sixth, a man on first and two outs, Will Savage singled moving Crosby to second. Colin Willis' two-run double to the gap in left-center gave the RailCats a 2-0 lead.
In the seventh, Jones tripled and scored on DeJesus' RBI single giving the RailCats a 3-0 lead. Crenshaw went 6.2 allowing three runs on seven hits while walking one.
Ryan Schlosser did a magnificent job out of the bullpen keeping the RailCats off the board for his 1.1 innings of relief. With runners at first and second and one out in the eighth he got Wilfredo Gimenez to ground into an inning ending double play setting up the Saints for the big hits in the bottom of the inning.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (4-0, 1.39) to the mound against RailCats LHP Trevor Lubking (4-3, 2.72). It is Biodiesel Night presented by Minnesota Soybean. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on KSTC (45TV).
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