Staying Single, Saints Get First Win of Season with 8-3 Victory over RailCats
GARY, IN - The St. Paul Saints dug themselves an early hole when the Gary SouthShore Railcats put up three runs in the first inning, but unlike Friday night the Saints didn't allow anything after that. They pounded out 16 hits, all singles, and took down the Railcats 8-3 on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Steel Yard. The win improved the Saints to 1-1 on the season.
With the Saints trailing 3-0 in the second Noah Perio Jr. led off with a single to right. Dante Bichette Jr. then hit a little dribbler to the right of the mound, but pitcher Alex Gunn had trouble picking up the ball and by the time he did, he rushed his throw to first and threw it away allowing Bichette Jr. to reach on a single and Perio Jr. took third on the throwing error. Bichette Jr. finished the day 3-5. Justin O'Conner's sacrifice fly cut the Saints deficit to 3-1.
In the third, Josh Allen led off with an infield single and took second on a groundout by Richard Prigatano. Max Murphy singled Allen to third and Brady Shoemaker's ground out to short scored Allen making it 3-2.
The Saints tied it in the fourth when Perio Jr. and Bichette Jr. started the inning off with back-to-back singles putting runners at the corners. O'Conner added his second sacrifice fly of the game tying it at three.
It stayed that way until the seventh when the Saints sent eight men to the plate and scored three runs. With one out the Saints loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Prigatano and Murphy and a walk to Shoemaker. Jayce Boyd knocked in a pair with a two-run single to center giving the Saints a 5-3 lead. Perio Jr. followed with an RBI infield single to make it 6-3. He finished the game 3-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
In the eighth the Saints added to the lead when they once again loaded the bases with one out. Allen walked and Prigatano and Murphy reached on singles. Shoemaker came through with a two-run single to center giving the Saints a five-run lead. Shoemaker went 3-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
The Saints pitching was stellar after the first inning. Starter Eddie Medina settled down after giving up an RBI double to Garrett Copeland, an RBI groundout to Colin Willis, and having the final run scored when O'Conner dropped the ball while trying to tag out Copeland at the plate. Medina went 5.0 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out two.
Four relievers combined to throw the final 4.0 innings as Beck Wheeler got the win by tossing 2.0 shutout innings allowing two hits and striking out two. Ken Frosch, 0.2 innings, Mike Devine, 0.1 innings, and Tom Wilhelmsen, 1.0 inning, finished off the game.
The Saints record for most singles in a game is 18 done five times, the last time in Gary on August 28, 2012.
The same two teams will meet in the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. at U.S. Steel Yard. The Saints send LHP Jeff Malm (NR) to the mound against Railcats RHP Chuck Weaver (NR). The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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