Getting to CHS Field

Five Hours and 15 Innings Later Saints Win Longest Game In Franchise History 8-3

ST. PAUL, MN May 30, 2017

The day started at 4:30 a.m. for the St. Paul Saints as the bus took them from CHS Field to the St. Paul/Minneapolis Airport for a flight down to Texas.  When the clock struck midnight they were still playing, but after five hours, the longest game time in franchise history, and 15 innings, the second longest game in terms of innings in franchise history, a five run 15th inning propelled the Saints to an 8-3 victory over the Cleburne Railroaders at The Depot at Cleburne Station.


          With the game tied at three in the 15th, and the Saints having collected just two hits from the fifth to the 14th, Jon Kristoffersen collected his first hit of the game, an infield single off the glove of a diving third baseman Brandon Tierney.  Breland Almadova sacrificed him to second.  Danny Oh then collected a career high fourth hit with a single to right putting runners at the corners.  That brought up Tony Caldwell who didn’t enter the game until the bottom of the eighth.  He crushed a three-run homer to left, his third of the season, to give the Saints a 6-3 lead.  Nate Hanson was then hit by a pitch and Brady Shoemaker collected his first hit, a single, in six at bats.  Tony Thomas, who was 0-7, roped a two-run double to right-center, to put the finishing touches on the game.


          The Saints bullpen, Vinny Nittoli, Caleb Thielbar, Seth Rosin, Ken Frosch and Connor Little, were incredible pitching 10.0 shutout innings allowing three hits while walking four and striking out five.  Ken Frosch collected the win going 3.0 innings allowing one hit while walking two and striking out two.


          The Saints scored two runs in the third on three consecutive errors.  Hanson reached on a fielding error by shortstop Alex Polston.  Shoemaker hit a grounder to the third baseman Tierney, whose throw to second went into right field putting runners at the corners.  Thomas’ fly ball to center glanced off the glove of K.C. Huth in center allowing Hanson to score and giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.  Anthony Gallas’ RBI groundout made it 2-0.


          The Railroaders took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when starter Benji Waite walked the first two hitters in the inning.  A wild pitch advanced the runners and an RBI single by Devan Ahart scored a run and a throwing error by Brady Burzynksi on the play allowed the second run to score tying the game at two.  An RBI groundout by Geraldo Valentin gave the Railroaders the lead.


          In the eighth the Saints tied it with their third unearned run of the game when Jack Goihl walked with one out.  Almadova pinch ran for him and stole second.  Oh drew a walk and, with two outs, Hanson was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Shoemaker’s grounder to third glanced off of Tierney’s glove, who picked up the ball and his throw pulled Valentin off the bag at first allowing the tying run to score.


          The Saints set a franchise record by leaving 18 men on base, surpassing their record of 16 set three times in extra innings, the last time July 26, 2011 vs. Kansas City.  The 5:00 hour game time surpassed the mark of 4:56 set on June 24, 1994 vs. Winnipeg at Midway Stadium.  That game is still the longest game in terms of innings, 18.


          The same two teams meet Tuesday night in game two of the four game series at 7:06 p.m.  The Saints are TBA while the Railroaders send RHP Patrick Mincey (1-0, 2.25).  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.