Getting to CHS Field

Saints Go Deep Into The Night, Lose 3-2 In 15 To Saltdogs

ST. PAUL, MN May 30, 2019

There is something about the date of May 29.  In 2017 the St. Paul Saints played their longest game, in terms of time, in franchise history on that date, going four hours and 59 minutes as they won 8-3 in Cleburne in 15 innings.  On Wednesday night they weren’t as fortunate, matching the same 15 innings they two years ago, but lost 3-2 to the Lincoln Saltdogs at Haymarket Park in a tidy four hours and 28 minutes.

          With the game tied at two in the 15th Ryan Schlosser came on as the seventh pitcher of the night, tying an extra inning franchise record for most pitchers used, and he hit the first batter he faced, Curt Smith.  John Sansone then clubbed a game winning double into left-center field.

          The game only reached extra innings because of the superb pitching on both sides.  Saints starter Nick Belzer made one lone mistake, that was to the first batter he faced, Christian Ibarra.  He drilled a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the first giving the Saltdogs a 1-0 lead.  Belzer went 5.0 innings allowing one run on six hits while walking one and striking out two.

          The Saints didn’t collect their first hit off of Ricky Knapp hit until there were two outs in the fifth.  Devon Rodriguez’ groundball to the left of second baseman Sansone went off his glove into shallow right for the first hit of the game.

          The Saints second hit tied the game.  Burt Reynolds came up in the seventh and crushed a solo homer to left, his first of the season, tying the game at one.

          It stayed that way until the 10th when the Saints took the lead.  Max Murphy led off the inning by being hit by a pitch.  He moved to second on a wild pitch.  Rodriguez then lined a single to left.  Murphy attempted to score, but Nick Schulz threw him out at the plate as Rodriguez took second on the throw.  Cameron McVey took over for Austin Pettibone and McVey unleashed two wild pitches allowing Rodriguez to score and giving the Saints a 2-1 lead.

          In the bottom of the inning Todd Van Steensel tried to close it out.  Ivan Marin led off with an infield single to second.  With Colton Burns pinch running, Van Steensel struck out Christian Ibarra, but a ground out by Randolph Oduber moved Burns to second.  That brought up Cody Regis who lined a single into right scoring Burns tying the game at two.

          The Saints only big threat after that came in the 14th when Brady Shoemaker singled with one out.  He moved to second on an infield single by Blake Schmit.  A fly out by Max Murphy moved Shoemaker up to third, but Rodriguez popped out to end the inning.

          The Saints bullpen went 9.0 innings allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out 15.  The Saints struck out 17 Saltdogs on the night, one shy of the extra inning record of 18 set on June 12, 1999 at Fargo-Moorhead.  Mike Devine went 3.0 scoreless allowing two hits while walking two and striking out five.

          The Saints managed just six hits over the 15 innings with the seven through nine and one and two hitters going a combined 0-30.

          The Saints have Thursday off and are at the Depot at Cleburne Station on Friday night for game one of a three-game series against the Cleburne Railroaders at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (2-0, 2.00) to the mound against Railroaders RHP Charlie Gillies (1-1, 3.00).  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.