Saints Fall to Fish In 12, 9-6ST. PAUL, MN June 26, 2016
For the second consecutive night the St. Paul Saints and Winnipeg Goldeyes needed more than nine innings to decide a winner. With both teams low on arms the Saints brought in St. Thomas grad Eric Veglahn for his first professional appearance in a tie game in the 12th. Unfortunately, he was roughed up for four runs and the Saints lost for the first time this season to the Goldeyes 9-6 at CHS Field in front of 8,289.
With the game tied at five in the 12th Veglahn got Josh Romanski to hit a hard grounder into the shift on the right side of the diamond, but shortstop Tony Thomas couldn’t come up with it and Romanski reached on the error. Former big leaguer Reggie Abercrombie then belted a two-run homer to center, his second of the night and fifth of the season, to make it 7-5. Jacob Rogers followed that by going back-to-back with a solo homer to make it 8-5. Veglahn walked Casio Grider before striking out Ridge Hoopii-Haslam, but on the third strike Grider stole second. Carlton Tanabe followed with an RBI single to right scoring Grider making it 9-5. Veglahn went 1.0 inning in his professional debut allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits while walking one and striking out one.
The Saints, who never led last night until their final at bat and didn’t lead at all on Sunday evening, tried to battle back in the bottom of the inning. With two outs Nate Hanson doubled down the left field line and Angelo Songco followed with an RBI single. Tony Thomas hit a hot smash in the hole between short and third, but shortstop Maikol Gonzalez dove to his left, knocked the ball down and threw to second to get the force out and end the game.
The Saints entered the ninth inning trailing by a run and Willie Argo led off with a walk. With one out Chad Christensen was hit by a pitch. Down to their final out Breland Almadova hit a slow roller to first that was fielded by Rogers and he raced to the bag, but Almadova was ruled safe. Argo raced all the way from second to score the tying run.
In the 10th the teams exchanged runs as Tanabe led off with a solo homer against Caleb Thielbar, his first of the season, to give the Goldeyes a 5-4 lead. It was the first run Thielbar had given up in 13.2 innings pitched.
The Saints responded with a run in the bottom of the inning without getting a hit. Argo once again led off with a walk. On strike three to Tony Caldwell the ball glanced off Tanabe’s glove allowing Argo to take second on the passed ball. With Christensen at bat Argo stole third and then scored when Christensen hit a sinking fly ball to right field that David Rohm made a diving catch on and Argo tagged up and scored.
The Saints had to scratch and claw all game long and trailed 2-0 in the third when they got their first hit on a leadoff double by Caldwell. Two batters later Aaron Gretz hit his second homer of the season, a two-run shot to right, to tie the game at two.
In the fourth the Goldeyes re-took the lead when Rogers led off with a walk. Grider singled him to second and, with one out, Tanabe singled off first baseman Angelo Songco’s glove scoring Rogers to make it 3-2.
In the fifth Abercrombie hit his first homer of the night, a solo shot to left, to make it 4-2 Goldeyes.
The Saints used their second long ball of the night to cut the deficit to one when Argo crushed a drive to straightaway center, his fourth of the season, to make it 4-3.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the four game series on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP John Straka (5-1, 5.49) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Kevin McGovern (1-1, 4.38). It is Metropolitan State University Monday with special guest emcee Erik Stolhanske and musical guest Gramma’s Boyfriend. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.