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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Shell Shocked After Six Run Eighth, Lose 6-3 To Goldeyes

ST. PAUL, MN August 14, 2017

Two of the top pitchers in the league squared off on Monday night at Shaw Park.  The match-up was as advertised, but St. Paul Saints starter Mark Hamburger, after cruising through seven innings, found out why the Winnipeg Goldeyes are the top scoring team in the league.  The Saints gave up six runs in the eighth and lost 6-3, dropping their record to 42-38 and falling 6.0 games back to the Goldeyes in the North Division with 20 games left.

 

          The last time Hamburger pitched at Shaw Park he allowed one unearned run on three hits through eight innings.  On that July 18 night the Goldeyes scored four runs off Hamburger in the ninth for a 5-3 walk-off win.  On Monday Hamburger entered the eighth inning having allowed just two hits and five total base runners.  He allowed just one hitter to reach as far as second base.  Instead of the ninth, however, it was the eighth inning that did him in.  Wes Darvill led off with a single to left.  Mason Katz’ bloop single to right moved Darvill to second.  Jordan Ebert got the Goldeyes on the board with an RBI single to right, sending Katz to third.  Andrew Sohn made it 3-2 with an RBI single to center.  With runners at first and second and nobody out David Rohm tried to sacrifice the runners over, but popped out to first for the first out.  That would be the night for Hamburger with the left-handed hitting Josh Romanski coming to the plate.  Left-handed reliever Ken Frosch came out of the bullpen, but walked Romanski on five pitches.  Frosch departed for hard-throwing right-handed reliever Vinny Nittoli.  With the bases loaded Reggie Abercombie stepped to the plate.  Nittoli threw two sliders that Abercrombie chased and missed.  The third slider, however, he singled to left driving in a pair giving the Goldeyes a 4-3 lead.  After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, Nittoli intentionally walked Shawn Pleffner to load the bases.  David Bergin followed with a two-run single for the final runs.  Hamburger went 7.1 innings allowing four runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two.

 

          It was a superbly pitched game by both starters as Goldeyes left-hander Kevin McGovern entered play with the fourth best ERA in the league.  He retired the first eight batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to Maxx Garrett in the third.

 

          McGovern finally blinked in the fifth after retiring the side in order in three of the first four innings.  Brady Shoemaker led off with a double to the right-center field gap.  After a fly ball moved Shoemaker to third, Kes Carter made it 1-0 with a lined single into right.  JJ Gould then crushed a two-run homer to left, his second of the season, to make it 3-0.  McGovern would go 8.0 innings and retired the side in order in six of those eight innings.  He allowed three runs on five hits while striking out eight.

 

          Hamburger was even better.  He hit the leadoff batter of the game, Sohn, but retired the next three hitters.

 

          In the second he walked Pleffner to start the inning, but got Bergin to ground into a double play and retired Darvill on a groundout.

 

          In the fourth the Goldeyes had their best opportunity to score when Josh Romanski got the first hit of the game with a one out single to left.  With two outs Pleffner walked, but Hamburger got Bergin to ground out to first to end the inning.

 

          In the sixth Hamburger gave up just his second hit, an infield single to Sohn.  After a lineout to center by David Rohm, Romanski grounded into an inning ending double play.  Unfortunately, for the Saints the top scoring offense found a way in the eighth to undo what Hamburger had done in the first seven innings.

 

          The same two teams meet in game two of the four game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Shaw Park.  The Saints are TBA while the Goldeyes send RHP Mikey O’Brien (7-4, 5.16) to the mound.  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.