Saints First To 60 Wins With 3-2 Victory Over BlastersST. PAUL, MN August 15, 2015
SAINTS FIRST TO 60 WINS WITH 3-2 VICTORY OVER BLASTERS
JOPLIN, MO (August 15, 2015) – Win number 60 of the season was not one St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis is going to remember because of the smooth play by his team. They struck out a franchise high 17 times, the fifth straight game with double-digit strikeouts, committed a season high four errors, yet found a way to squeak out a 3-2 victory over the Joplin Blasters on Saturday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
The Saints had at least one strikeout in every inning and every hitter struck out at least once, with the exception of Vinny DiFazio. They did, however, jump on the board in the first inning, scoring their 83rd run of the season in the opening frame. With one out Willie Argo walked, DiFazio was hit by a pitch and Angelo Songco drove home Argo with an RBI single to right to make it 1-0.
Saints starter Robert Coe was his usual strong self and made just two mistakes on the night. In the second Oscar Mesa hit a solo homer to right, his third of the season, to tie the game at one.
The Saints managed just one hit from the second through the sixth, a one out double by DiFazio in the third. In the seventh with the game tied at one Alonzo Harris hit a hanging breaking ball over the left field wall, his eighth of the season, to give the Saints a 2-1 lead.
Coe, however, made his second mistake of the night in the bottom of the inning when he threw a high fastball on a 3-1 count that Jesus Solorzano tomahawked over the left field wall, his ninth of the season, to tie the game at two. Coe went 6.1 innings allowing two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one.
In the eighth Joey Paciorek, who had been one for his last 26, singled to right with one out. Steve Nikorak followed with a walk to put runners at first and second. After Anthony Phillips struck out Dan Kaczrowski battled against reliever Victor Capellan. With the count 2-2 he fouled off two pitches. He then reached out and poked a base hit into right field just past the diving Steven Tinoco at first into right field. The base hit scored Paciorek and gave the Saints a one run lead.
In the ninth Ryan Rodebaugh had Maikol Gonzalez on at first and two outs. Gonzalez, the league leader in steals, swiped second and advanced to third on the throwing error by DiFazio. Rodebaugh, however, struck out Tinoco to end the ballgame and pick up his league leading 21st save.
The 60th win is one shy of the franchise record of 61 set in 2004, the last time the Saints won a championship.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. at Joe Becker Stadium. The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (12-2, 2.18) to the mound against Blasters RHP Reyes Dorado (1-1, 1.93). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.