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Saints Tie American Association Record for One-Run Wins with 5-4 Walkoff over Dogs

August 25, 2019 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - For the second consecutive night at CHS Field, it was a nail-biting finish between the St. Paul Saints and Chicago Dogs. The Saints blew a two-run lead in the ninth, only to come through and win it in the bottom of the inning. Chesny Young's sacrifice fly against Luke Wilkins scored Josh Allen from third and vaulted the Saints to 4.0 games up on the Dogs for the wild card spot with eight games to play. With the win, the Saints now have 21 one-run victories on the season. They have tied the all-time American Association record for one-run wins, set by the Wichita Wingnuts in 2009. They are also 2.5 games behind the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the division lead. The Saints are now a season-high 24 games over .500 at 58-34.

The home team entered the ninth inning ahead 4-2. Mike Devine, who had already pitched 3.2-innings allowing just one run on two hits, started the frame by allowing a single to pinch-hitter Trey Vavra. Lefty Ken Frosch then came in and walked lefty David Olmedo-Barrera. Edwin Arroyo dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners to second and third with one out. Frosch then fell behind Keon Barnum 2-0 before deciding to intentionally walk him to load the bases. Karch Kowalczyk then entered the fray to face Victor Roache. The All-Star right fielder was hit by a pitch to score Vavra and make it a 4-3 game. Next, Kelly Dugan popped up to Chris Baker at short for the second out. Kowalczyk then fell walked Jordan Dean to bring home the tying run. He finally struck out Gustavo Pierre swinging to get out of the inning.

The Saints started the bottom of the ninth with a double by Josh Allen that landed in front of, and trickled, behind Roache. John Silviano's groundout to first moved Allen to third. With one away and both the infield and outfield in, Young smacked a fastball to medium-deep center field, plenty deep enough to score Allen from third and win the ballgame.

The night started with two quick runs for the Saints against Chicago's Jake Dahlberg. Dan Motl reached on a Pierre throwing error to lead off the bottom of the first. Michael Lang then dropped a perfect bunt to the right side and turned it into a base-hit. Brady Shoemaker walked to load the bases with nobody out. That's when Jabari Henry came through with a sacrifice fly to center to plate Motl and give the Saints a 1-0 lead. They'd add another on a Jeremy Martinez single to left that scored Lang and made it 2-0.

Landon Beck made his third start for the Saints and pitched well the first time through the Chicago order. The trouble for him began in the third, when Olmedo-Barrera led off with a double off the right field wall. Arroyo grounded out to first and advanced him to third. With Barnum at the plate, Beck uncorked a wild pitch to allow Olmedo-Barrera to trot home and put the Dogs on the board at 2-1.

In the fourth, Chicago would tie the game. Dugan led off with a walk and Dean followed with a single. Two batters later, Tony Rosselli smoked a double off the base of the wall in dead center to score Dugan and make it 2-2. Yet, on the play Dean attempted to score from first and was cut down on an 8-6-2 relay, ending in a tag applied by Martinez at the plate. Beck would strike out Rey Gonzalez to finally end the inning.

The other key spot for the Saints pitching staff came in the fifth. Olmedo-Barrera doubled, Barnum was intentionally walked and Dugan was also walked by Beck to load the bases with two out. This is where Devine entered the game and promptly got Dean to cue one right back to the mound on the first pitch and end the threat.

With both pitching staffs going back and forth, the Saints finally made something happen in the bottom of the eighth against Rich Mascheri. With one out, Motl singled to right. He then stole second and advanced to third when the ball glanced off Arroyo's glove and into center field. After that, Lang struck out and Shoemaker was intentionally walked to bring up Henry. The left fielder smoked a clutch two-run double over Olmedo-Barrera's head in center to score Motl and Shoemaker and give the Saints their 4-2 lead entering the final frame.

It was the 36th one-run game the Saints have played this season, one shy of the American Association record, also set by the 2009 Wichita Wingnuts.

The two teams continue their four-game series Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. RHP Eddie Medina (9-2, 2.80) takes the ball for the Saints, while Chicago goes with former Major-League RHP Carlos Zambrano (3-1, 5.47). It is Dog Day as well as the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Mighty Ducks 2 at the ballpark. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities Metro.

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