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 St. Paul Saints

Saints Squander Three-Run Lead in Ninth, Lose 9-8 in 11

May 16, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints had a four-run lead with six outs to go. They carried a three-run lead into the ninth. They led by two runs and were one out from victory. They couldn't put away the Omaha Storm Chasers, losing 9-8 in 11 innings at CHS Field on Thursday night in front of 6,091.

With the Saints up 7-4 going into the ninth, the Storm Chasers came back to tie the game. With one out Nate Eaton doubled off the wall in left. Logan Porter made it 7-5 with an RBI single to right-center. With two outs, John Rave hit a line drive that went into the glove of the second baseman Castillo and then popped out for a single. Drew Waters knotted the game at seven with a two-run double to right.

The teams traded runs in the 10th with Devin Mann scoring a run for the Storm Chasers on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch scoring Dalton Shuffield for the Saints.

In the 11th, with the placed pinch runner Tyler Gentry at second, Cam Devanney sacrificed him to third. A foule out by Rave put the Saints one out from getting out of the inning unscathed. Waters then hit a check swing roller just to the left of third baseman Anthony Prato. He dove and the ball glanced off his glove behind him for an RBI single giving the Storm Chasers a 9-8 lead.

The Saints could do nothing in the bottom of the inning as former Minnesota Twins farmhand Steven Cruz struck out the side to end the game.

The first two hitters in the second inning got the Saints on the board. Matt Wallner led off with a walk and that was followed by a two-run homer to left by Michael Helman, his fifth of the season, making it 2-0.

The Storm Chasers responded in their next at bat as Rave doubled to left with one out and came into score on a single to right-center by Waters cutting the Saints lead in half, 2-1.

One inning later and the Storm Chasers grabbed the lead. Nick Loftin tied the game with a leadoff solo homer to left, his first of the season. C.J. Alexander walked and took third on a single to right from Mann. An RBI fielder's choice by Eaton gave the Storm Chasers a 3-2 lead.

After giving up five runs to the Storm Chasers in the second inning on Wednesday night, the Saints repaid the favor on Thursday with a five-run sixth to grab the lead. Prato led off with a double to left-center. Diego Castillo singled to right moving Prato to third. Byron Buxton hit a smash to third that Alexander made a nice, backhanded play on and threw out Buxton at first, but Prato scored tying the game at three. Buxton finished his second Major League rehab game 0-3 with an RBI. After a pitching change, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. walked. Matt Wallner then doubled to right scoring Castillo giving the Saints a 4-3 lead. Helman made it 6-3 with a two-run single to center. Helman finished the night 2-5 with a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored. Yunior Severino followed with an infield single to short and, with two outs, Yoyner Fajardo's single to center scored Helman giving the Saints a 7-3 lead.

The Storm Chasers mounted their comeback in the eighth when Waters led off the eighth with a triple to center and scored on a ground out from Nick Pratto cutting the lead to 7-4, the beginning of their six runs over the final four innings.

The same two teams meet in game four of a six-game series on Friday night at CHS Field at 6:37 p.m. The Saints send RHP David Festa (0-1, 3.00) to the mound against LHP Zach Davies (1-1, 4.00). The game can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, MLB.TV, MiLB.TV, and the Bally Live app, and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

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