Getting to CHS Field

Historic Victory: Saints Sweep A Season Series For First Time In Franchise History, Win 3-2 Over Wingnuts

ST. PAUL, MN July 26, 2018

The St. Paul Saints began their first season in 1993.  In their first 25 seasons they never swept a season series from a team in which they played both a home and road series during the year.  That changed on Thursday night at CHS Field in front of 8,999.  The Saints won a tightly contested contest 3-2 over the Wichita Wingnuts and took all five games from their South Division opponents on the year.  The win improves the Saints to 35-28 and they are now tied for first place with the Gary SouthShore Railcats.


          Once again it was the pitching that led the way for the Saints as starter Chris Nunn was solid and got help from the bullpen when he needed it.  With one out in the first Nunn walked back-to-back hitters, but got Tony Thomas to fly out and John Nester to strike out to end the inning.


          In the third, with the Saints leading 1-0, Nunn gave up back-to-back singles to Zach Nehrir and Logan Watkins to start the inning.  The Wingnuts attempted a double steal, but catcher Justin O’Conner threw out Nehrir at third.  Nunn then got Abel Nieves to fly out and struck out Thomas to end the inning.


          Nunn retired 10 in a row from the third until two outs in the sixth when he gave up a single to Thomas, but he retired Nester on a ground out to end the inning.


          In the seventh, with the Saints up 3-0, Logan Trowbridge led off with a single to right.  With one out Leo Vargas doubled Trowbridge to third.  That was the night for Nunn and he gave way to Mike Devine.  Devine gave up two unlucky hits, first a bloop single down the right field line to Nick Rotola that scored Trowbridge making it 3-1.  Then Nehrir hit a 10-foot dribbler up the third base line for a single that scored Vargas to make it 3-2.  The Saints brought in left-hander Ken Frosch to face the lefty Watkins.  Frosch got him to fly out to center on the first pitch.  Frosch extended his scoreless streak for the entire season to 26.0 innings, second longest in franchise history behind Caleb Thielbar’s 29.2 in 2011.  Beck Wheeler got the final out of the inning when he struck out Nieves.  Nunn went 6.1 innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out five.


          Wheeler pitched the eighth and, with one out, Nester reached on a throwing error by shortstop Anthony Phillips.  Trowbridge singled to left putting runners at first and second, but Wheeler fanned the final two batters.  Wheeler went 1.1 shutout innings and all four outs were recorded via the strikeout.


          Zack Jones came on in the ninth and pitched a perfect inning while striking out two to record his fourth save of the season.


          The Saints offense did just enough for the victory and scored in the first.  Max Murphy extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff single to left.  He stole second and scored on a double by Brady Shoemaker to make it 1-0 Saints.


          In the third they loaded the bases with nobody out on three straight singles by Shoemaker, Zach Walters and Dante Bichette Jr.  They managed only one run, however, on a groundout by Matt Snyder to make it 2-0.


          In the fifth Walters led off with as single to right.  Bichette Jr. reached on a throwing error by Trowbridge at third that sent Walters to third.  With one out O’Conner made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly.


          The Saints welcome in the Texas AirHogs to CHS Field on Friday night for a three-game series beginning at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Trevor Foss (1-2, 3.92).  It is Xcel Energy Friday Night Fireworks featuring the music of Hip Hop Club Bangers.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.