Getting to CHS Field

Nearly Five Hours Later Saints Win Third Longest Game In Franchise History On Kes Carter's Walk-Off Home Run In 14th, 5-4

ST. PAUL, MN July 27, 2017

It’s not the first time the St. Paul Saints and Sioux City Explorers played a game that lasted four hours and 45 minutes.  In a game that tied for the third longest, in terms of time, game in Saints history Kes Carter hit a walk-off home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the 14th to give the Saints a 5-4 victory on Wednesday night at CHS Field in front of 8.404.


          With the game tied at four in the 14th Explorers closer PJ Francescon, on his 36th pitch of the night and first of the 14th, served up a solo home run to Carter over the 400 foot sign in right-center to end the marathon game.  It was Carter’s fourth home run with the Saints and second walk-off home run in two weeks, and his ninth homer of the season.


          The Saints bullpen was spectacular going 9.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking four and striking out 13.  Overall the Saints fanned 18, setting a new franchise record topping the 17 strikeouts on June 12, 1999 at Fargo-Moorhead.  Lefty Ken Frosch picked up the victory by tossing the final 2.2 innings, not allowing a hit while walking two and striking out five.


          The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Carter singled with one out.  Brady Shoemaker moved Carter to third with a single to right-center.  Anthony Gallas, fresh off his All-Star appearance where he went 1-3 with a double, doubled home Carter to make it 1-0.  Nate Hanson’s RBI groundout plated Shoemaker.


          The lead lasted until the fifth when the Explorers sent nine men to the plate and scored three runs.  With one out Jonathan Gonzalez doubled off of starter Benji Waite.  With two outs Tony Campana singled to right scoring Gonzalez and making it 2-1.  After Campana stole second, Joe Bennie singled to center scoring Campana and tying the game at two.  Jayce Ray was intentionally walked putting runners at first and second and Waite walked Tyler Ogle to load the bases.  LeVon Washington singled to right scoring Bennie giving the Explorers a 3-2 lead.  Waite struck out Lang to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.  Waite went 5.0 innings allowing three runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out five.


          The Saints looked like they would win it in nine innings as they took the lead in the seventh.  Jon Kristoffersen led off with a walk and, with two outs, Shoemaker clubbed a two-run homer to left, his 16th of the season, giving the Saints a 4-3 lead.


          That lead lasted one batter into the eighth when Jeff Malm, who had thrown 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, gave up a home run to the first batter of the inning, a solo homer to Washington, his fifth of the season and tying the game at four.


          The only games to last longer in Saints history were the five hour, 15 inning game on May 29 of this season when the Saints won 8-3 at Cleburne.  On June 25, 1994 the Saints lost a 4:56 game in 18 innings at Winnipeg.  The Saints played a 4:45 game against the Explorers on August 28, 2009 at Midway Stadium which the Saints won 6-5 in 14 innings.


          The same two teams meet in game two of the four game series on Thursday night at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Matt Schuld (0-0, 4.50) to the mound against Explorers LHP Cody Forsythe (3-6. 5.96).  The first 1,000 fans in attendance receive a piggy bank presented by Minnesota Credit Unions.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.