Great Eight, Saints Continue Win Streak With 3-2 VictoryST. PAUL, MN July 26, 2014
GREAT EIGHT, SAINTS CONTINUE WIN STREAK WITH 3-2 VICTORY
FARGO, ND (July 25, 2014) – On July 7 the St. Paul Saints sat 9.5 games out of first place behind the Winnipeg Goldeyes. That seems so long ago as the incredible run continued on Friday night with a 3-2 win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field. The victory was the eighth straight for the Saints, tying them for the third longest in franchise history and they now sit just one lone game out of first.
One area the Saints have been successful at has been in tight ballgames. With Friday night’s win the Saints have won their last nine one run games and they needed to hang on against the RedHawks. The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and looked like they were going to have a field day against RedHawks starter Jake Laber. With one out Sam Maus singled, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 27 consecutive games. Willie Cabrera followed with a single moving Maus to second. Henry Wrigley gave the Saints a 1-0 lead with a single to left. Two batters later Evan Bigley made it 2-0 with an RBI single.
The RedHawks got one back in the bottom of the inning when Zach Penprase led off with a double. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a double play ground out.
In the second inning the Saints defense cost them a run. Former Saint Brandon Tripp walked with one out. With two outs he advanced to third when Anthony Kaskadden’s pop up was dropped by first baseman Angelo Songco. Penprase made the Saints pay with an infield single to second scoring Tripp and tying the game at two.
The Saints regained the lead right away in the top of the third as Cabrera singled with one out. Wrigley then crushed one off the wall in left-center for a double that scored Cabrera to give the Saints a one run lead. Wrigley went 2-4 with a double and two RBI. With two outs Bigley singled to left, but Wrigley was thrown out trying to score to end the inning. For the Saints that didn’t prove to be costly because the pitching was spectacular.
Saints starter Nick Barnese was masterful in his 6.1 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits while walking four and striking out eight.
Barnese left the game in the seventh with a man on first and one out as Matt Meyer took over. Eric Castro hit a soft liner towards first that just went over the head of Songco, but CJ Retherford was ruled to have interfered with Songco and an out was called. Nic Jackson then reached on an error by Maus, but Meyer got Petey Paramore to line out to end the inning.
In the eighth Meyer retired the first two hitters before walking Anthony Kaskadden. Mikey Mehlich came on in relief and after Kaskadden stole second, Mehlich got Penprase to ground out to end the inning.
The Saints didn’t have closer Dan Sattler available after he pitched the last three days, so Mehlich came back out for the ninth. After walking Ronnie Bourquin and giving up a single to Retherford to put runners at first and second with nobody out Castro stepped to the plate. He showed bunt on the first three pitches and then pulled back on the fourth and flew out to left. Mehlich got Jackson to ground out weakly to him, but the runners advanced. With the winning runs in scoring position Mehlich got Paramore to line out to right to end the game.
The eight game winning streak ties the third longest in franchise history which was set from June 25-July 2, 1998. The two longest streaks in Saints history are 12, which occurred over two seasons at the end of the 2007 and beginning of 2008 and 10 (June 17-28, 2007).
Devin Thaut’s 15 game hitting streak came to an end as he went 0-4.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Newman Outdoor Field. The Saints will send RHP Jeff Shields (5-4, 3.21) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Brad Orosey (0-0, 3.38). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.