Saints Season Comes To An End With 2-1 Loss To Explorers, Lose Series 3-1ST. PAUL, MN September 13, 2015
SAINTS SEASON COMES TO AN END WITH 2-1 LOSS TO EXPLORERS, LOSE SERIES 3-1
ST. PAUL, MN (September 13, 2015) – The St. Paul Saints were just inches away from having a different fate Sunday evening at CHS Field in front of 3,286. With the Saints trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning Nate Hanson was thrown out at the plate and they would never threaten again losing by that same score and dropping the best-of-five American Association semi-final to the Sioux City Explorers 3-1.
With the Saints trailing by a run in the seventh Hanson led off with a single. Anthony Phillips failed to get a sacrifice bunt down on three tries and struck out, but Willie Argo was able to coax a walk off of reliever Rob Wort. That brought up Alonzo Harris who worked the count to 3-2 and then reached out and poked a base hit into right field. Hanson was waved around third and right fielder Michael Lang came up throwing and threw a perfect strike to the plate getting Hanson by mere inches. Ryan Cavan then struck out to end the inning.
In the eighth Vinny DiFazio reached on a fielding error by third baseman Tommy Mendonca. Angelo Songco then smashed a shot to the left of shortstop Noah Perio, but he stuck his glove out, fielded it cleanly and turned the double play.
In the ninth Jose Flores came on to close it out and got Ian Gac on strikes, Hanson to ground out to short and pinch hitter Ryan Lashley to strike out to end the game and series.
Saints starter Robert Coe pitched out of jams in the first three innings, but was able to get out unscathed. In the fifth, however, Matty Johnson led off with a double to right. Michael Lang sacrificed him to third. Former Minnesota Twin Rene Tosoni roped an RBI double to left giving the Exlorers a 1-0 lead. With two outs Perio singled to right scoring Tosoni to make it 2-0. Coe went 5.0 innings allowing two runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out two.
The Saints offense couldn’t manage much off of Explorers starter Eric Wordekemper who tossed 5.0 scoreless innings before giving way to reliever Rob Wort. Wort had not allowed a run in 30.1 innings, including 3.0 innings in Game 1. The Saints got to him in the sixth, however, when Ryan Cavan led off with a double. After Espinosa moved him over with a groundout, DiFazio knocked home Cavan with a single to right. A fly out and a fielder’s choice ended the inning.
It was the fifth time in 13 playoff appearances the Saints were eliminated in the semi-finals.