Extra Inning Rule Continues To Be Unkind To Saints In 8-5 Loss In 11ST. PAUL, MN June 21, 2015
EXTRA INNING RULE CONTINUES TO BE UNKIND TO SAINTS IN 8-5 LOSS IN 11
ST. PAUL, MN (June 20, 2015) – The St. Paul Saints were already short on players when they lost their starting center fielder, Alonzo Harris, in the bottom of the first inning. The Saints showed heart in tying the game in the ninth, but lost 8-5 in 11 innings to the Gary SouthShore Railcats at CHS Field on Saturday night in front of 8,312. It was the Saints second loss in four games under the new International Extra Innings rule.
With the Saints trailing 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth Mitch Elliott reached on an infield single to first. Vinny DiFazio’s grounder to short was booted by Ryan Brockett which put runners at first and second. With one out Angelo Songco’s grounder to first glanced off Michael Schroeder’s glove and into right field allowing Elliott to score and sending DiFazio to third. Mike Schultz’ sacrifice fly scored DiFazio and sent Songco to second. With the winning run at second and two outs Joey Paciorek walked, but Steve Nikorak grounded out to short to end the inning.
Neither team scored in the 10th and in the 11th the international extra inning rule took effect where the last batter of the 10th inning starts at second. Tillman Pugh started the inning by laying down a bunt that was fielded by first baseman Ian Gac, but his throw to first was high and went into foul territory allowing Stephen Rogers to score and sending Pugh to second. Jamie Del Valle then laid down a bunt in front of home plate and DiFazio tried throwing Pugh out at third, but the throw wasn’t in time. Michael Schroeder followed with an RBI single to give the Railcats a 7-5 lead. After a sacrifice bunt by Brockett moved the runners to second and third, Roger Bernal lifted a sacrifice fly to right to finish the scoring.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, but it proved to be costly. Alonzo Harris hit a dribbler to the right of the pitcher and as Harris raced down the line pitcher Andy Roberts picked up the ball and threw it past first. Harris took off for second, rounded the bag and went down in pain. He would leave the ballgame forcing relief pitcher Chris Peacock to play the remainder of the game in right field. After an Elliott sacrifice bunt, DiFazio extended his RBI streak to nine straight games with a single to center.
Peacock would collect his first professional hit in his first professional at bat and finished the night 1-5.
The Railcats tied it in the second on a two out walk to Del Valle and back-to-back singles by Schroeder and Brockett, the latter scoring the run.
In the third the Railcats put up three as Zac Mitchell led off with a single. After Drew Martinez walked the two runners stole second and third and DiFazio’s throw to third went into left field allowing Mitchell to score and sending Martinez to third. J.D. Pulfer then hit a grounder to first, Gac tried to throw Martinez out at home, but his throw wasn’t in time and it gave the Railcats a 3-1 lead. Three batters later Del Valle doubled home a run to make it 4-1.
The Saints answered back in the bottom of the inning on solo homers by DiFazio, his sixth of the season, and Songco, his fifth, to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (4-1, 1.67) to the mound against Railcats LHP Rene Solis (0-2, 2.67). It is replica jersey giveaway as the first 750 adults and 750 kids receive a free Saints replica jersey presented by Regions Hospital. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB and in the ballpark on 97.9 FM.