Robert Coe Ties Franchise Wins Mark In Wild 13-11 Victory, Saints 116-46 In Last 162ST. PAUL, MN July 24, 2016
In his previous 39 victories Robert Coe has had much better games, but when trying to catch a wins record as a pitcher there are times you need to rely on your offense. Sunday evening at CHS Field was one of those games. Coe notched his 40th win in a Saints uniform, tying the franchise record set by Charlie Ruud (2005-09), in a 13-11 victory over the Laredo Lemurs. With the victory the Saints improved to 42-20, best record in the American Association, and an 8.5 game lead in the North Division. Over their last 162 games, 100 last year and the 62 this season, the Saints are 116-46.
Coe started off the game looking like it was going to be his day retiring the first two hitters he faced, but a double to Leandro Castro and an RBI single from Denis Phipps made it 1-0 Lemurs. After a walk to Zane Chavez, Cesar Valera made it 2-0 with an RBI single.
The Saints offense answered right back in the bottom of the inning sending nine men to the plate. With one out Breland Almadova doubled and scored on an RBI single from Tony Thomas to make it 2-1. A wild pitch sent Thomas to second and a passed ball moved him to third. Angelo Songco walked and stole second and both came in to score on a two-run single by Trever Adams giving the Saints a 3-2 lead.
Coe retired the side in the second, but in the third he was once again snake-bitten with two outs. After a bunt single by Ty Morrison and a hit by pitch to Leandro Castro put runners at first and second with nobody out, Coe retired the next two on fly outs. Valera, howeber, doubled home the tying run and J.D. Pulfer, who collected three hits and four RBI, singled home a pair to give the Lemurs a 5-3 lead.
The Saints would once again answer back and take the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Songco led off with a single and Adams singled him to second. Nate Hanson walked to load the bases and Tony Caldwell walked to force in a run and tie the game at five. Lemurs starter Matt Bywater was removed for reliever Luis De La Cruz with the count 2-0 on Tanner Vavra. He greeted De La Cruz with a two-run double to give the Saints a 6-5 lead. With two outs Alonzo Harris made it 7-5 with an RBI single.
The Saints tacked onto their lead in the fourth courtesy of some shaky defense by the Lemurs. Thomas led off by reaching on an error by the third baseman Valera and scored when Songco doubled and the second baseman Pulfer dropped the relay throw. With one out Hanson singled Songco to third. Caldwell hit a grounder to short and Alvaro Rondon’s throw to second was dropped by Pulfer as Songco scored to make it 9-5. An RBI double from Sam Maus made it 10-5.
It looked like the Saints would cruise, but in the sixth Coe gave up a leadoff single to Chavez and, with one out, Pulfer singled to center. Coe turned the ball over to the bullpen with a five run lead, but Benji Waite was gave up a two-run double from Jesus Posso to make it 10-7. An infield single and a suicide squeeze made it 10-8. Coe went 5.1 innings allowing seven runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out one.
In the bottom of the inning the Saints answered for the third straight time as Hanson singled and, with two outs, Maus walked. Harris brought them both home on a two-run triple to give the Saints a 12-8 lead.
In the seventh Waite hit the leadoff man in the inning, Castro and, with one out, walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases. A two-run single by Pulfer cut the lead to 12-10. Waite departed for Caleb Thielbar with runners at first and second. Posso hit a deep fly ball to center that Harris caught, fell to the ground, and Valera scored all the way from second to make it 12-11. Thielbar got out of the inning on a pop out by Alvaro Rondon. Thielbar went 1.2 perfect innings of relief striking out one.
The Saints got an insurance run in the eighth when Hanson led off with a double and scored on a double by Maus. Hanson finished the night 4-4 with a double and four runs scored.
Ryan Rodebaugh closed out the game with a perfect ninth striking out one to pick up his league leading 16th save and help earn Coe win number 40.
The Saints pounded out 16 hits on the night, with eight of nine starters collecting at least a hit and six of the nine collecting multiple hits. The Saints had seven doubles and a triple of their 16 base hits.
The Saints welcome in the Sioux City Explorers on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (10-0, 2.75) against Explorers RHP Bryan Escanio (3-2, 7.03). It is Metropolitan State University Variety Show Monday featuring guest emcee Eric Perkins and guest musicians The 4onthefloor. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.