Saints Lose First Series Of Season, But Still Celebrate North Division TitleST. PAUL, MN August 13, 2015
SAINTS LOSE FIRST SERIES OF SEASON, BUT STILL CELEBRATE NORTH DIVISION TITLE
SIOUX CITY, IA (August 13, 2015) – It will go down as the first series loss of the season for the St. Paul Saints, but they will remember the day because they were crowned as North Division Champions. The Sioux City Explorers scored three runs in the eighth inning as the Saints lost 4-3 on Thursday night at Lewis and Clark Park. The Saints claimed the North Division title earlier in the day when the Winnipeg Goldeyes lost to the Sioux Falls Canaries 6-4.
With the Saints leading 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning and Saints starter Jeff Shields cruising, he gave up a leadoff single to Tommy Mendonca. Matt Koch doubled to left putting runners at second and third. Tim Colwell tripled the two home to tie the game at three. Matty Johnson laid down a safety squeeze, but it was bunted back to the mound and Shields was able to hold the runner while throwing out Johnson. The Saints went to their bullpen for left-hander Alex Sogard, but he gave up an RBI double to left-hand hitter Brent Keys to give the Explorers a one run lead, which proved to be the difference.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second when Angelo Songco singled. He moved to second on a one out walk to Joey Paciorek. Steve Nikorak hit a comebacker that pitcher Ryan Strufing fielded behind his back, but his throw to second went into center field allowing Songco to score.
The Explorers tied it in the third when Koch led off with a double. Colwell hit a comebacker that Shields fielded and gunned out Koch at third. With two outs, and Colwell at second, Keys singled home Colwell to tie it at one.
The Saints used the longball in the sixth to take the lead when Songco singled and, with one out, Paciorek hit a two-run homer, his third of the season, to make it 3-1.
The Saints dropped their first series of the season and are now 18-1-2 in series play this season.
The Saints head to Joe Becker Stadium to take on the Joplin Blasters in a three game series beginning on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Pedro Hernandez (8-2, 3.95) against Blasters LHP Josue Montanez (1-2, 1.93). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.