From Highest High, To Lowest Low, Saints Lose 7-6 In 11ST. PAUL, MN August 21, 2016
It is a roadtrip the St. Paul Saints would like to soon forget. Dan Johnson provided an incredible moment with a go ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth, but in a blink of an eye it was gone in the bottom of the ninth on a leadoff solo home run. It would take two more innings, but the Saints lost 7-6 in 11 and were swept by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field on Sunday afternoon. The Saints lost five of six on the roadtrip (and seven of eight including the July 20 resumed game). The loss drops the Saints to 55-32 on the season and have just a 3.5 game lead in the North.
With the Saints down 5-3 in the ninth and one on with two outs Tony Thomas extended the game with a single to left. That brought up Dan Johnson. The night before Johnson popped out with the tying run in scoring position. He redeemed himself on Sunday with a three-run homer to right, his sixth of the season, to give the Saints a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the good feelings were dashed when Dustin Geiger led off the inning with a solo homer, his eighth of the season, off of Caleb Thielbar to tie the game at six.
In the 11th Cody Wheeler started the inning by walking Josh Mazzola. With one out a wild pitch moved Mazzola to second. Geiger was intentionally walked and Brian Humphries struck out. Another wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and it proved costly. Charlie Valerio hit a ground ball into the hole between short and third that glanced off the glove of a backhanded try of Thomas and went into shallow left allowing the winning run to score.
The RedHawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. With one out Ryan Pineda reached on a throwing error by Thomas at short. With two outs Mazzola singled and K.D. Kang followed with a three-run homer to right, his 15th of the season.
The Saints got one back in the second on Nate Hanson’s solo homer, his 11th of the season, to make it 3-1.
In the fifth Charlie Valerio led off with a solo homer for the RedHawks, his eighth of the season, to make it 4-1. Saints starter Eric Veglahn was superb on three days rest, aside from two pitches, going 6.0 innings allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits while walking two and striking out a career high six.
The Saints got to within one in the sixth as Thomas led off with a double. He finished the game 4-6 with two doubles and two runs scored. Johnson hit a blooper that landed in left-center to put runners at the corners. Hanson doubled home Thomas to make it 4-2. After a walk to Vinny DiFazio loaded the bases Trever Adams stepped to the plate. He hit a slicing fly ball to left that Humphries made a sliding catch on. DiFazio had already rounded second and couldn’t get back to first in time and was doubled up as Johnson scored from third to make it 4-3.
The Saints head home for a three game series on Monday night against the Wichita Wingnuts at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (10-2, 4.92) to the mound against Wingnuts LHP Anthony Capra (0-2, 8.74). It is Metropolitan State University Variety Show Monday with guest emcee Don Shelby and musical guest P.O.S. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.