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Getting to CHS Field

The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Zimmerman Shuts Down Former Team In 8-1 Win Over Explorers

ST. PAUL, MN June 14, 2017

Baseball managers age in dog years during the season.  For George Tsamis, however, celebrating his 50th birthday on Wednesday afternoon he received the perfect birthday present.  Former Sioux City Explorers pitcher Ryan Zimmerman made Tsamis feel 10 years younger as he dominated his former team in an 8-1 win in front of 8,160 at CHS Field.  The win improved the Saints to a league tying 17-9, currently a 1.0 game lead over the Winnipeg Goldeyes who play later tonight.


          Zimmerman was released by the Explorers prior to the season after playing the last two years in Sioux City.  Since the Saints signed him on May 31 he had been brilliant, entering Wednesday’s game 2-0 with a 0.69  ERA.  He was just as dominant against his former team.  He ran into trouble in the first, but pitched around it.  Michael Lang led off with an infield single to short.  With one out Nate Samson blooped a single to center putting runners at first and second.  A two out walk to Levon Washington loaded the bases, but Zimmerman got Brandon Alvarez to fly out to end the inning.


          The Saints offense feasted on last minute starter Mark Vasquez in the first.  Danny Oh led off with a double down the right field line.  With one out Nate Hanson singled to left putting runners at the corners.  A walk to Brady Shoemaker brought up the Saints hottest hitter, Anthony Gallas.  He roped a bases clearing double to left-center giving the Saints a 3-0 lead.  Tony Thomas followed with a single to put runners at the corners and Tim Colwell’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0.


          In the fourth the Saints picked up one run as another former Explorer, Colwell, led off with a triple.  With two outs Jon Kristoffersen knocked him home with an RBI single to second to make it 5-0.


That was all Zimmerman needed as he gave up just one hit from the second through the fifth.  In the sixth the Explorers finally got to him when Samson doubled and Washington drove him home with a two out single to make it 5-1.


The Saints got the run right back in the bottom of the inning when Colwell led off with a single, was sacrificed to second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Kristoffersen’s single giving the Saints a 6-1 lead.


The first two hitters reached against Zimmerman in the eighth, on an error by the third baseman Hanson and a walk.  Zimmerman departed for reliever Vinny Nittoli.  He struck out Samson looking, but walked John Nogowski to load the bases.  Caleb Thielbar came out of the bullpen for the Saints and struck out Washington and got Alvarez to fly out to end the inning.  Zimmerman went 7.0+ innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out four.


In the bottom of the eighth Thomas and Colwell started the inning with back-to-back singles.  Colwell finished the day 3-3 with a triple, RBI and three runs scored.  With two outs Danny Oh walked to load the bases.  Breland Almadova, in his fifth at bat of the game, extended his hitting streak to 11 with a two-run single.


The Saints are now 6-5 on George Tsamis’ birthday.


The Saints are off Thursday and begin a three game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Shaw Park on Friday at 7:00 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (0-1, 10.50) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Kevin McGovern (4-0, 3.28).  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.