Offense Stays Hot, But Saints Lose 9-7ST. PAUL, MN August 23, 2014
OFFENSE STAYS HOT, BUT SAINTS LOSE 9-7
LINCOLN, NE (August 23, 2014) – The St. Paul Saints offense, which has struggled so much over the last month plus, has been found in Lincoln. For the fourth consecutive game they collected at least 10 hits and they came from 5-1 down to take a 6-5 lead, but the Lincoln Saltdogs put up three in the seventh and the Saints lost 9-7 Saturday night at Haymarket Park.
With the Saints trailing 6-1 in the fourth Joe Bonfe led off with a walk. He moved to second on a single by Jake Taylor. Keith Brachold was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A double play ground out by Joey Becker plated Bonfe to make it 6-2. Carlos Escobar followed with a two-run homer to right, his first of the season, to make it 6-4.
In the fifth the Saints tied the game with two outs. Angelo Songco singled and Bonfe walked. Taylor’s two-run double tied the game at six. Taylor finished the night 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
In the seventh the Saints took their first lead of the night when Songco walked with one out and Taylor walked with two outs. Brachold looped a single into left-center scoring Songco giving the Saints a 7-6 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, however, the Saltdogs would take the lead for good. Reliever Dylan Thomas was spectacular after coming into the game in the third inning with two outs. He allowed just two hits until the seventh inning. He walked the leadoff man in the inning Jon Gaston. With two outs Matt Forgatch singled to center. Brandon Pinckney doubled to left-center scoring both runs giving the Saltdogs an 8-7 lead. Mike Gilmartin followed with an RBI double for the insurance run and Thomas would face one more batter before leaving the game. Thomas went 4.1 innings allowing three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out two.
The Saltdogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer from Ian Gac, his 22nd of the season.
In the second the Saints made it 2-1 when Bonfe singled, moved to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on an infield single from Brachold. He finished the game 2-2 with two RBI.
The Saltdogs plated four in the third off of Saints starter Ben Hughes. They loaded the bases with one out on a leadoff double from Chad Mozingo and walks to Gaston and Gac. A two-run single by Brian Joynt followed by a two-run double from Forgatch made it 6-1. Hughes lasted just 2.2 innings allowing six runs on six hits while walking three and striking out three.
Evan Bigley went 0-5 ending his hitting streak at a career tying high 14 games. It was his second 14 game hitting streak of the season, the first set his career high.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the five game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. at Haymarket Park. The Saints send RHP Nick Barnese (6-8, 3.94) to the mound against Saltdogs RHP Marquise Fleming (9-3, 3.71). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.