Saints Can't Hold Leads Lose 8-7 In 11ST. PAUL, MN July 4, 2015
SAINTS CAN’T HOLD LEADS LOSE 8-7 IN 11
ST. PAUL, MN (July 4, 2015) – Was he safe or was he out? That was the ultimate question on a play at the plate in the top of the 11th inning. The St. Paul Saints lost leads of 4-0 and 6-4 and eventually lost 8-7 in 11 innings to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at CHS Field in front of a franchise record crowd 9,960.
With the game tied at six in the top of the 11th inning and the International Extra Inning rule taking effect where a runner starts at second base the RedHawks elected to swing away. Joe Dunigan grounded a base hit into center field. Joe Bonfe rounded third and center fielder Alonzo Harris came up throwing to the plate. Catcher Vinny DiFazio took the throw, turned and swiped the tag on Bonfe. Home plate umpire Andre Lanoue said Bonfe was safe, much to the dismay of DiFazio and manager George Tsamis. Tsamis was thrown out for arguing the call.
In the bottom of the 11th the Saints started with Dan Kaczrowski at second. Alonzo Harris popped his bunt attempt up. Willie Argo then popped out for the second out of the inning. After DiFazio was hit by a pitch Ian Gac flew out to right to end the game.
The Saints jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning. Gac led off the inning with a single and with two outs Ronnie Bourquin walked. Anthony Phillips then unloaded hitting a three-run homer to left, his first of the season, to make it 3-0. On the very next pitch Dan Kaczrowski hit a solo shot to left, his second of the season.
The RedHawks, however, battled back in the sixth. Saints starter Jeff Shields cruised through the first five innings allowing just one lone base runner, a double to Joe Bonfe to lead off the second. After retiring 12 straight he walked Anthony Renz, who was 1-10 on the season, to start off the sixth. Frank Salerno followed with a single to put runners at first and second. A Drew Muren single loaded the bases with nobody out. Zack Penprase made it 4-1 with an infield single to short. Chad Mozingo made it 4-2 with an RBI fielder’s choice, forcing the runner at second. An RBI single by Bonfe and a two out RBI single by Joe Staley tied the game at four.
In the sixth the Saints regained the lead when Mike Kvasnicka and Bourquin led off with back-to-back singles. Phillips sacrificed them over and Kaczrowski’s sac fly made it 5-4.
The Saints loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning on singles by Argo, DiFazio and Gac. With one out Mike Kvasnicka walked to force in a run and give the Saints a 6-4 lead.
In the eighth the RedHawks took their first lead of the night. With one out Penprase walked and Chad Mozingo doubled him to third. Bonfe belted a three-run homer to left, his first of the season, to make it 7-6.
Argo, however, tied it in the bottom of the inning with one swing of the bat, a solo shot to left, his seventh of the season.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Pedro Hernandez (4-2, 3.54) to the mound against RedHawks LHP Tyler Alexander (0-0, 2.42). The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Bill Murray and Friends Construction T-Shirt. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, head on Club 1220 KLBB and in the ballpark on 97.9 FM.