Mamas and the Papas, New Dad Nate Hanson Has Big Game In 15-1 Saints VictoryST. PAUL, MN August 11, 2016
On August 2, Nate Hanson became a first time father. The Saints third baseman was also suffering from a tweaked hamstring and was given a few extra days to rest and spend time with his family. When he returned to the lineup on Friday night, Hanson was a one man wrecking crew making new Mom, Liza Hanson, and their son, Easton, extremely proud in his first game back. Hanson’s three extra base hits and career high five RBI led a 15 run, 16-hit attack. Starter Eric Veglahn tossed the longest outing of his professional career as the Saints topped the Sioux Falls Canaries 15-1 in front of 8,496 fans at CHS Field. The Saints are now 52-24, the best record in the American Association and good for a 7.5 game lead in the North Division.
In his first at bat, Hanson stepped up to the plate with two men on and one out. He laced a ball the opposite way, doubling off the base of the wall in right field to score both runs and give the Saints a 2-0 lead.
Hanson wouldn’t have an RBI opportunity in the third, after Dan Johnson hit a two run homer, his third of the season, to make it 4-0. But Hanson did come through with another extra base hit, doubling to straight away centerfield.
Hanson’s biggest hit of the night came as part of a five run fourth inning for the Saints. After a two-run double by Tony Thomas made it 6-0, Johnson walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Hanson picked his pitch and hit a towering home run the opposite way, his sixth of the season, to give the Saints a 9-0 lead. Hanson finished the night 3-4 with two doubles, a home run, five RBI and two runs scored.
Not lost in the offensive onslaught was the performance by the rookie Veglahn. After getting two double plays from his defense in the first three innings, Veglahn settled into a grove, retiring 10 batters in a row from the end of the third through the sixth.
The lone run Veglahn allowed came in the seventh. Edina native Blake Schmit led off the frame with a walk and came around to score from first on a one out double by J.C. Linares. Veglahn then retired the final five batters he faced, including a perfect eighth inning. The left-hander threw a career high 8.0 innings and gave up one run on three hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Saints offense didn’t stop rolling after building a 9-0 lead through four innings. With Brady Burzynski on first, Breland Almadova hit a ball over the head of centerfielder Ethan Chapman and slid into third with an RBI triple to make it 10-0. During Thomas’ ensuing at bat, Almadova came in to score on a wild pitch to make it 11-0. He finished the night a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-5 with a double, a triple, an RBI and three runs scored.
Outfielder Bryson Myles collected his first extra base hit with the Saints in the sixth, hitting his first home run with the club to the berm in left field, making it 15-0.
The same two teams meet again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Saints RHP Robert Coe (8-2, 4.88) looks to break the franchise record for most career wins against Canaries RHP Ray Hanson (0-4, 8.48). It’s Xcel Energy Friday Night Fireworks set to the music of Video Games plus the Killebrew Root Beer Professional Scouts Hall of Fame. There will be no radio broadcast of the game, but it can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities or online at americanassociation.tv.