Getting to CHS Field

Let the Countdown Begin: Manager George Tsamis Wins Number 995 As Saints Take Down Wingnuts 8-3

ST. PAUL, MN June 4, 2018

Eddie Medina came back to Wichita, where he pitched in 2017, and was solid against his former team.  Max Murphy gunned down a runner at the plate with a one run lead in the eighth, the St. Paul Saints added four insurance runs in the ninth and beat the Wichita Wingnuts 8-3 on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  The win is number 995 in Saints manager George Tsamis’ managerial career, 812 with the Saints.  The Saints improved to 11-6 on the season and are 5-3 on the 10-game roadtrip.


          With the Saints up 4-3 in the eighth lefty Ken Frosch, who has been magnificent for the Saints this season, walked the lefty Fernando Perez.  Beck Wheeler then took over and walked Tony Thomas, the first hitter he’s walked all year.  Logan Trowbridge laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third.  John Nester then hit a fly ball to medium right that Max Murphy caught and came up firing to the plate.  He threw a perfect strike that beat Perez by 15 feet and Justin O’Conner tagged him out to end the inning.


          The Saints used that momentum in the ninth to put the game out of reach as Dante Bichette Jr. led off the inning by crushing the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a solo homer, his second of the season, to make it 5-3.  Jordan Smith singled and O’Conner was hit by a pitch.  After Allen fouled his first sacrifice bunt attempt off despite nearly getting hit by the pitch, he then fouled off the second attempt.  With two strikes he swung away and tripled in two giving the Saints a 7-3 lead.  Brady Shoemaker tacked on the final run with an RBI single.


          The Saints faced Wingnuts starter Casey Harman, who had yet to give up a run in 17.0 innings this season.  They didn’t wait long to get to him as Noah Perio Jr. ended an 0-14 skid with a one out double in the second.  With two outs Bichette Jr. hit a broken bat single into center scoring Perio Jr. to make it 1-0 Saints.


          In the third O’Conner crushed a solo homer that nearly hit off the top of the video board in left-center field, his third of the season, to make it 2-0.


          The Wingnuts got to Medina in the third when Leo Vargas doubled, Zach Nehrir reached on an infield single, and Abel Nieves singled home Vargas to make it 2-1.


          The Saints added single runs in the sixth and seventh.  With Murphy at third and two outs in the sixth, Perio Jr’s grounder to short was mishandled by Vargas allowing Murphy to score making it 3-1.  In the seventh Bichette Jr. singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and after Allen was hit by a pitch, Murphy doubled home Bichette Jr. to make it 4-1.  Bichette Jr. finished the night 3-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.


          Medina looked like that would be enough, but ran into a little trouble in the seventh when he gave up a leadoff homer to John Nester, his first of the season.  Ryne Willard followed with a single and that was the night for Medina.  Another former Wingnut, Mike Devine, came out of the bullpen.  His pickoff attempt at first was thrown away and allowed Willard to go to third.  Devine struck out the next two hitters, but couldn’t get Nehrir, who doubled home Willard to make it 4-3.  Medina went 6.0+ innings allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out five.


          The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints are TBA and the Wingnuts send RHP Jared Wilson (0-0, 3.86) to the mound.  The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.