Saints Fanned 15 Times In 4-1 Loss To RedHawksST. PAUL, MN August 19, 2016
The St. Paul Saints were forced to go with a spot starter. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks went with the league’s top strikeout pitcher. Corey Williams was tremendous for the Saints, but Tyler Alexander was spectacular, striking out a season high 15 as the Saints lost 4-1 at Newman Outdoor Field on Friday night. The loss dropped the Saints to 55-30, but they maintain their 4.5 game lead in the North.
The Saints offense, which managed just two hits in a loss at Winnipeg on Thursday, got just four on Friday and couldn’t figure out Alexander who came in as the only pitcher to strike out 100 in the league, with 122. The Saints struck out at least once in every inning, but the fourth. Tony Thomas and Trever Adams both went 0-4 with four strikeouts. In his return to the Saints Vinny DiFazio was 0-3 with a walk, but it didn’t matter who the Saints brought to the plate because Alexander had their number. He tossed a complete game allowing one unearned run on four hits while walking three and striking out 15. He threw an astounding 151 pitches, 94 for strikes and punctuated the end of the game with back-to-back strikeouts to finish it off.
On the other side Williams, who had never started a game in his five year professional career, went a career high 4.2 innings and struck out a career high eight. He didn’t allow a runner to reach second until the fifth, when the RedHawks would chase him and score a pair of runs. With the Saints up 1-0 Brian Humphries reached on a drag bunt to first. Williams walked Charlie Valerio to put runners at first and second. Williams then fanned Mike Gilmartin, but hit Kes Carter to load the bases. Williams battled back and struck out Ryan Pineda for the second out. Facing the dangerous Keury De La Cruz, Williams hit him on a 2-0 pitch forcing in the tying run. Williams departed for Benji Waite, but he walked Josh Mazzola on four pitches to give the RedHawks a 2-1 lead. Williams went 4.2 innings allowing two runs on three hits while walking two and striking out eight.
In the eighth Waite walked the leadoff man K.D. Kang. Kang advanced to second on a wild pitch and, with one out, Waite departed for Caleb Thielbar. Humphries singled to right putting runners at the corners. A wild pitch scored Kang and sent Humphries to second. An RBI single by Mike Gilmartin gave the RedHawks a three run lead.
The Saints scored their lone run in the fifth to take a 1-0 lead. With one out Tony Caldwell doubled to center. Alonzo Harris then singled off the glove of a diving Mazzola at third, moving Caldwell to third. Breland Almadova hit a two hopper to Mazzola that bounced in and out of his glove scoring Caldwell.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (11-3, 3.17) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Brian Ernst (2-3, 4.68). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.