House of Horrors Continues In Lincoln As Saints Lose 1-0 On Walk-Off HomerST. PAUL, MN August 24, 2014
HOUSE OF HORRORS CONTINUES IN LINCOLN WITH 1-0 WALK-OFF LOSS
LINCOLN, NE (August 24, 2014) – The last time the St. Paul Saints won a regular season series played entirely at Haymarket Park was in 2006. The Saints had an opportunity for a series win on Sunday afternoon and got an incredible pitching performance from Nick Barnese, but Ian Gac, the man tied with the second most homers in the league, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off homer and the Saints lost 1-0.
It was a battle of former teammates in the Tampa Bay Rays system with Barnese going for the Saints and Marquis Fleming toeing the rubber for the Saltdogs. The Saints had the first opportunity to score in the first when Devin Thaut doubled with two outs, but he was left stranded.
Barnese allowed just one hit through the first four innings and at one point retired 11 in a row. In the fifth he gave up back-to-back singles to Brian Joynt and Matt Forgatch. Brandon Pinckney sacrificed them over, but Barnese got Mike Gilmartin to strike out and Tyler Smith to ground out to end the inning.
In the sixth the Saltdogs had another opportunity to score. Chad Mozingo led off with a walk, but on a hit and run Luis Nunez flew out to right and Mozingo was doubled up as he raced all the way around to third. It proved costly as Jon Gaston walked and Gac singled, but Barnese struck out Joynt to end the inning.
In the seventh the Saints got a leadoff single from Thaut. With one out Joe Bonfe laid down a bunt base hit and the two runners advanced another base when Fleming’s throw to first on the play went into foul territory. Fleming, however, struck out Jake Taylor and Keith Brachold to end the inning. Fleming went 7.0 shutout innings allowing four hits while walking two and striking out eight.
In the bottom of the seventh Forgatch led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. With two outs he stole third, but Barnese struck out Smith to end the inning. Barnese went 8.0 scoreless innings allowing five hits while walking two and striking out six.
The Saints last opportunity to score came in the eighth when Joey Becker led off with a single off of reliever Jhonny Montoya. Vinny DiFazio sacrificed him to second. Willie Cabrera pinch hit for Mitch Elliott, but he flew out for the second out of the inning. After Evan Bigley was hit by a pitch, Thaut struck out looking to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth Mikey Mehlich came on in relief and on a 2-2 pitch Gac hit his 23rd home run of the season, setting a new Saltdogs franchise record for homers in a season.
It was the second time this season the Saints were shutout and the 16th time they have lost a 1-0 game in franchise history.
The Saints have Monday off and return to action on Tuesday evening at Midway Stadium in the final homestand at the ballpark beginning at 7:05 p.m. against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The Saints send RHP Drew Gay (5-2, 3.35) to the mound. It is the Zombie Baseball Crawl presented by Savers. The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB and in the ballpark on 87.9 FM.