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Getting to CHS Field

DiFazio Puts Ugly Wort On Explorers In 6-4 Saints Win

ST. PAUL, MN June 23, 2015


ST. PAUL, MN (June 23, 2015) – As a team the St. Paul Saints are playing unbelievable baseball.  As an individual Vinny DiFazio is having a first month of the season for the record books.  His eighth inning two-run blast proved to be the difference as the Saints managed just four hits, but still won 6-4 over the team with the second best record in the American Association, the Sioux City Explorers, on Tuesday night at CHS Field in front of 7,798.  The Saints improved to 26-5 on the season and won their 10th straight series to begin the season.

            With the game tied at four in the bottom of the eighth Explorers reliever Rob Wort took over for starter Patrick Johnson.  He walked the leadoff man in the inning, Mitch Elliott.  With one out DiFazio crushed one over the left field wall, his eighth of the season and second in as many days, to give the Saints a two run cushion.  The reigning American Association Player of the Week has hit safely in a career high 12 straight, a .537 average in that span, and is hitting .449 on the season.  He also has 11 straight multi-hit games after going 2-3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored on Tuesday.  He has an RBI in 11 of his last 12, only failing to collect an RBI on Sunday despite singling twice with runners at second.

            The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Steve Nikorak walked, advanced to third on a single by DiFazio and scored on Ian Gac’s sacrifice fly.

            The Explorers tied it in the second when Noah Perio Jr. walked, moved to third on a single by Ryan Court and scored on Tommy Mendonca’s single.

            It stayed that way until the fourth when DiFazio and Gac led off the inning with back-to-back walks.  Angelo Songco made it 2-1 with an RBI single to right.  Mike Kvasnicka reached on an error by second baseman Court that loaded the bases.  Joey Paciorek extended his hitting streak to six games with an RBI single to make it 3-1.  Anthony Phillips grounded into a double play that scored Songco to make it 4-1.

            The Explorers answered back in the fifth when Michael Lang singled with two outs.  Rene Tosoni walked and Brock Kjeldgaard tripled off the glove of a leaping Elliott in center scoring two runs to make it 4-3.  Saints starter Jeff Shields went 6.0 innings allowing three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two.

            The Explorers tied it up against Saints reliever Mike Zouzalik in the eighth.  Perio Jr. doubled over a leaping Songco at first and Court singled him home, but all that did was set up the dramatics in the bottom of the inning.

            The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.  The Saint send LHP Pedro Hernandez (4-1, 3.60) to the mound against Explorers RHP John Straka (3-1, 3.10).  John Moe brings his popular show Wits to CHS Field.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities, heard on Club 1220 KLBB and inside the ballpark on 97.9 FM.