Getting to CHS Field

Saints Fall In Game 1 Of NDCS 3-2 To RedHawks

ST. PAUL, MN September 4, 2019

The St. Paul Saints prepared all season for this moment.  One-run games were their specialty in the regular season, playing a league record 39 and winning a league record 24.  All that prep, however, didn’t pay off as they finished on the wrong end of Game 1 of the North Division Championship Series losing 3-2 to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday night.  They trail the best-of-five series 1-0.

          The Saints jumped on RedHawks starter Ryan Williams in the first inning as Michael Lang doubled down the third base line with one out.  With two outs John Silviano sent one back up the middle scoring Lang putting the Saints up 1-0.

          The lead didn’t last long as the RedHawks used a couple of choppers to score two runs in the bottom of the inning.  Brennan Metzger led off the inning with a walk.  After a groundout moved Metzger to second, Devan Ahart hit a high chopper that went over the head of the third baseman Chesny Young and into left field scoring Metzger to tie the game at one.  On the play, left fielder Blake Schmit threw home and the ball got by Jeremy Martinez allowing Ahart to take second.  After a wild pitch moved Ahart to third, the next hitter, Chris Jacobs, followed suit and hit a high chopper over the head of shortstop Chris Baker and into left field scoring Ahart to make it 2-1 RedHawks.

          In the third the Saints put the first two hitters on when Dan Motl singled to right and Lang reached on a bunt single putting runners at first and second.  Brady Shoemaker flew out to right and Motl tried to advance to third, but was thrown out by Tim Colwell for the second out of the inning.  Silviano grounded out to end the inning.

          The momentum of the top of the inning carried over to the RedHawks in the bottom of the inning when, instead of choppers, they used bloops and dunks to score a run.  Metzger led off with a bloop single to right.  With one out, Ahart floated a looper into left-center putting runners at first and second.  Jacobs loaded the bases by dropping a fly ball in front of Lang in right.  Correlle Prime made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly to left.

          In the fifth the Saints got to within a run when Schmit led off with a single to left.  With one out Lang singled to center moving Schmit to second.  Shoemaker then hit a grounder to third that was booted by Joe Becht which loaded the bases.  Silviano’s fielder’s choice groundout scored Schmit cutting the deficit to 3-2.  With the tying run at third, Jeremy Martinez lined out to center to end the inning.

          In the bottom of the inning the Saints cut down a run at the plate when Colwell reached on a one out single to left.  An error on a grounder by second baseman Josh Allen put runners at first and second.  Jacobs then hit a fly ball to deep right that Lang raced back and caught as he tumbled to the ground.  Colwell tried to score from second, but a great relay throw from the shortstop Baker nailed Colwell at the plate.  Saints starter Chris Lee went 7.1 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while walking two and striking out six.

          The Saints did not collect a hit from the fifth inning on, but had two chances to tie the game.  In the seventh Schmit led off by being hit by a pitch.  With one out Lang walked.  Shoemaker then hit a line drive right at the second baseman Carlos Garcia, who threw to second to get Schmit off the bag for the double play.

          In the ninth, against Relief Pitcher of the Year Geoff Broussard, Young led off with a walk.  He advanced to second on a wild pitch, but a strikeout to Baker, a groundout by Schmit and a strikeout to Motl ended the game.

          The same two teams meet in Game 2 of the North Division Championship Series on Thursday night at 7:02 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Landon Beck (5-2, 3.84) against RedHawks RHP Michael Tamburino (7-6, 3.12).  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.