Players Out Of Position No Problem For Saints, Claim 11th Straight Series With 6-2 WinST. PAUL, MN June 28, 2015
PLAYERS OUT OF POSITION NO PROBLEM FOR SAINTS, CLAIM 11TH STRAIGHT SERIES IN 6-2 WIN
FARGO, ND (June 28, 2015) – An outfielder was catching. A pitcher was playing third. Two rookie outfielders. And a second baseman who was retired since 2013. For the 2015 season it was just another day at the office for the St. Paul Saints as they defeated the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 6-2 on Sunday afternoon claiming their 11th consecutive series to begin the season, improved to 29-7 and now have a 13.0 game lead in the North Division.
With Saints starting catcher Vinny DiFazio at a wedding and back-up catcher Joey Paciorek placed on the disabled list prior to the game after crashing into the wall on Saturday night, Mike Kvasnicka was forced behind the dish. He caught at the University of Minnesota and a little with the Houston Astros. In the fifth inning with the Saints down 1-0 Kvasnicka singled to right. With one out Anthony Phillips singled him to second. After Dan Kaczrowski, the second baseman who had been retired since 2013 until June 22, moved the runners over with a groundout. One of the two rookie outfielders, Mitch Elliott, knocked both runs home to make it 2-1. After Elliott stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher, the scariest moment of the ballgame occurred. RedHawks pitcher Tyler Heron threw a breaking ball that didn’t move and hit Steve Nikorak on the left side of the face. Nikorak was taken off on a stretcher. That forced Saints starting pitcher, Robert Coe, who was a catcher at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater into action to play third.
After the RedHawks tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, the improbable story continued for the Saints in the seventh. Phillips led off with a single, moved to second on a Kaczrowski sacrifice bunt and then went to third on Elliott’s ground out. Up stepped Coe, who hadn’t had an at bat since 2011 at Whitewater. On a 3-2 pitch he lined a single into right scoring Phillips to give the Saints a 3-2 lead. Coe collected his first professional hit and RBI in his first at bat. Willie Argo, who just came off the disabled list before the game, promptly doubled down the left field line scoring Coe to make it 4-2.
In the eighth Angelo Songco led off with a double and Kvasnicka followed with a two-run blast to left, his fifth of the season and fourth of the series, to give the Saints a four run cushion. Kvasnicka finished the game 3-4, a triple shy of the cycle, with two RBI and two runs scored.
The Saints pitching staff did the rest as starter Jeff Shields improved to 6-0 on the season going 7.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking five and striking out four. Mike Zouzalik went the final 2.0 innings, tossing perfect relief and striking out two.
The Saints get Monday off and head to Haymarket Park to begin a three game series on Tuesday evening against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 6:35 p.m. The Saints send LHP Pedro Hernandez (4-2, 3.64) against Saltdogs RHP Jesse Smith (2-3, 2.98). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.