Sports stats

 St. Paul Saints

Varland Takes Right Route in Shutting Down Bisons Offense in 3-1 Saints Victory

May 21, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

BUFFALO, NY - More than half the St. Paul Saints team didn't arrive in Buffalo until three hours before first pitch due to severe weather delays in travel. There were flight delays. There was rerouting of flights. And there was a nine-hour bus ride at 5:00 a.m. Despite the travel nightmare, it was Louie Varland who caused the second-best hitting team, the Buffalo Bisons, turbulence on Tuesday night at Sahlen Field. He delivered 6.0 remarkable innings, and the Saints offense did enough to take down the Bisons 3-1.

A costly error helped the Saints get on the board in the first inning. Austin Martin hit a fly ball towards the line in right that was dropped by the right fielder Will Robertson. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. lined a single into left and Martin took third. After a walk to Michael Helman loaded the bases. Matt Wallner made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Varland got out of a bases loaded two out jam in the bottom of the first by getting Orelvis Martinez to line out to left.

Varland retired eight of nine hitters before giving up a solo homer to Martinez with one out in the fourth, his 11 th of the season, tying the game at one. It was the lone mistake Varland made. After the home run, he gave up a single to Rafael Lantigua, but got Robertson to bounce into an inning ending double play. Varland went 6.0 innings allowing one run on four hits while walking three and striking out three. He threw 86 pitches, 51 for strikes.

A couple of solo home runs gave the Saints the lead in the fifth. Will Holland led off the inning with a 421-foot blast over the left field wall, his third of the season, giving the Saints a 2-1 lead. Two batters later, Austin Martin made it 3-1 with a solo homer to left, his first with the Saints.

Josh Winder, making his fourth Major League rehab appearance for the Saints, had his sharpest outing to date. The first batter he faced, Martinez, was hit by a pitch. Winder then got a double play and fanned Robertson to end the inning. Widner went 2.0 hitless, shutout innings of relief and struck out two.

Jorge Alcala came on in the ninth and caught a huge break. He walked Nathan Lukes to lead off the inning. Addison Bargar then hit 104 mile per hour one hopper to the right side that hit Lukes in the foot for an out. Had it not hit Lukes, the ball would have certainly gone into right field. The Saints capitalized on the break as Alcala got Brian Serven to ground into a game ending double play. It was the fourth double play the Saints turned on the night, tying a franchise record done three other times.

The same two teams meet in game two of a six-game series on Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. (CT). The Saint send RHP Randy Dobnak (3-3, 4.54) against Bisons RHP Paxton Schultz (1-1, 3.38). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

• Discuss this story on the International League message board...

International League Stories from May 21, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central