Yet Another Season Opening Series Win, Saints Take Down RailCats 4-3 in 11
GARY, IN - Make it 17-straight seasons since the St. Paul Saints last lost an opening series to the season. It took a little longer than they anticipated, but a Brady Shoemaker RBI single helped the Saints defeat the Gary SouthShore Railcats 4-3 in 11 innings at U.S. Steel Yard. The win improved the Saints to 2-1 on the season.
In the 11th inning with the score tied at three Richard Prigatano led off with a single to center, his third hit of the game. Max Murphy sacrificed him to second and that's when Shoemaker, who had been 0-3 on the day, lined an RBI single into right-center scoring Prigatano that proved to be the difference.
Saints reliever Ryan Boelter was stellar in his 2.0 innings of work allowing just one hit while walking one and striking out three, including the final out of the game with the tying run on first.
The Saints looked like they would win the game in nine innings as they led 3-1 after seven, but in the eighth reliever Mike Devine plunked Randy Santiesteban with two outs. A passed ball sent Santiesteban to second and Garrett Copeland singled home Santiesteban to make it 3-2.
In the ninth the Saints turned the ball over to Tom Wilhelmsen, but with one out he hit D.K. Carey with a pitch. A wild pitch sent Carey to second and Reggie Wilson blooped a single to left sending Carey to third. John Price Jr.'s sacrifice fly to right tied the game at three. With runners at second and third and two outs Wilhelmsen got out of the inning when Alex Crosby flew out to left.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third on a Josh Allen solo homer to left, his first of the season.
The Railcats tied it in the bottom of the inning when Price Jr. collected his first professional hit, a single to right-center. A walk to Cole Fabio put runners at first and second and Crosby sacrificed the runners over. A sacrifice fly by Santiesteban tied the game at one. That was the lone blemish for starter Jeff Malm who was brilliant going 6.0 innings allowing one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.
The Saints regained the lead in the fifth when Prigatano and Murphy started the inning with back-to-back singles. A throwing error on Murphy's single moved the runners to second and third. Shoemaker and Jayce Boyd, however, both popped out to third, but Noah Perio Jr. came through with a two-run single giving the Saints a 3-1 lead.
The last time the Saints lost an opening series was 2001 when they lost three of four to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Midway Stadium. In the franchises 26-year history the Saints are 19-4-3 in opening series.
The Saints play their home opener on Monday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. against the Chicago Dogs. The Saints send RHP Matt Solter (NR) to the mound and the Dogs are TBA. The Saints celebrate their 26th season with 26 Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce businesses. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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