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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Scratch Out 10 Inning Victory Over AirHogs, 4-3

ST. PAUL, MN June 3, 2019

Over the last two seasons the St. Paul Saints haven’t made things easy when they come to AirHogs Stadium.  Despite the Texas AirHogs having the worst record in the league in 2018, and once again in 2019, the Saints continue to play tight, extra inning games in Grand Prairie.  On Monday night they once again survived with a 4-3, 10 inning victory that improved their record to 11-6.

          Last season the Saints played a four-game series in Grand Prairie and needed a ninth inning rally and three extra inning games to take three of four.  It was only fitting that the first matchup between the two teams went extra innings this year.  The Saints jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning thanks in part to a two out rally.  With nobody on and two outs Jeremy Martinez walked.  Josh Allen followed with a single to left putting runners at first and second.  A wild pitch moved the runners up and Joey Wong cashed in with a two-run single to make it 2-0.  Dan Motl followed with a single to right moving Wong to second.  Max Murphy made it 3-0 with an RBI single to center.

          Saints starter Spencer Jones, who had not given up a run in his first 10.0 innings including the first 2.1 on Monday, gave up his first run on a solo homer from Josh Prince in the third.  That cut the Saints lead to 3-1.

          In the fourth Chan Junpeng led off with a single to right and Luo Jinjun moved him to second with a single.  A passed ball moved the runners up.  With one out Yang Jin hit a grounder to the left of second baseman Josh Allen.  He fielded it, spun and threw out Jin at first as Junpeng scored.  Jinjun took a hard turn at third and first baseman Brady Shoemaker threw wildly to the plate allowing the tying run to score.

          The Saints caught a break in the seventh when Yang Jin led off with a single to right-center.  Prince singled him to second.  Landon Beck came out of the bullpen as the two runners pulled off a double steal.  Beck fanned pinch hitter Javion Randle.  Then the mistake happened by the AirHogs.  Jonathan Moroney flew out to right and Jin bluffed tagging from third.  Murphy threw home and Jin retreated to third, but Prince took off from second and as he was retreating Martinez threw down to second.  Jin broke for the plate and shortstop Joey Wong threw home to Martinez who ran towards Jin and tagged him out to end the inning.

          In the 10th the Saints finally broke through as Motl led off the inning with a ground rule double to right-center.  Murphy followed with a hard grounder to second and Prince elected to throw across the diamond to third, but his throw was off line and Motl slid in safely.  Chesny Young came through with a sacrifice fly that proved to be the game winner.

          The Saints bullpen was incredible going 5.0 scoreless innings allowing just two hits and striking out five.  Mike Devine pitched the final 1.2 perfect innings while striking out two as he picked up the victory.

          The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Nick Belzer (1-0, 1.20) to the mound against AirHogs RHP Zech Lemond (0-2, 5.19).  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.