Saints Walk Off For First Time This Season To Win Seventh Straight In 8-7 Victory Over RailcatsST. PAUL, MN September 4, 2015
SAINTS WALK OFF FOR THE FIRST TIME TO WIN THEIR SEVENTH STRAIGHT IN 8-7 WIN OVER GARY
ST. PAUL, MN (September 4, 2015) – With a memorable season already, the Saints added another edition to the highlight reel as they walked off 8-7 winners over the Railcats on Friday night in front of 8,047 at CHS Field. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, Vinny DiFazio scored on a wild pitch after Angelo Songco tied the ballgame with a single to right field as the Saints were walk off winners for the first time this season. It was fitting that the top two sluggers on the Saints were right in the thick of the comeback for St. Paul with both DiFazio and Songco reaching 82 RBI on the season in the victory, setting a new franchise record, as the Saints notched their seventh straight win improving to 72-25.
The Saints trailed by as much as 6-3 in the finale of the four game series, but would hit around the Railcats bullpen to set themselves up for the bottom of the ninth thriller. In the seventh, Sam Maus drew a two out walk to drive the rookie Fernando Gonzalez out of the ballgame after 6.2 innings. Ryan Cavan stepped to the plate against reliever John Kavalik. The switch hitting infielder clubbed a two run homer to right field, his fifth of the season and his first in a Saints uniform, to put St. Paul within a run.
Gary answered with a run in the top of the eighth inning, but Angelo Songco would answer for the Saints with a solo blast to left that trimmed the Railcats lead to 7-6.
With the stage set in the ninth inning, the Saints had the heart of their order due up to face the Railcats closer, Andy Loomis. Maus drew his second walk of the night and advanced to second on a Cavan single. With runners on first and second, Vinny DiFazio grounded to short on what looked like a tailor made double play before a hard takeout slide from Cavan spared the Saints an out. Angelo Songco’s base hit scored Maus and tied the ballgame. The Railcats elected to intentionally walk David Espinosa to get to Willie Argo and the Saints left fielder battled for an eight pitch at bat before a ball in the dirt allowed DiFazio to score the winning run.
Jeff Shields didn’t have his best stuff on the mound for the Saints and the Railcats took advantage early. The right hander issued back-to-back walks to start the ballgame, each of which would come around to score and give the Railcats a 2-0 lead.
The Saints answered back with three runs of their own in the home half of the first to take a 3-2 lead. Maus hit a one out single to left in his first at bat and was driven in by Ryan Cavan’s double off the wall in right field. Vinny DiFazio followed by smoking a two run shot over the left field wall, his 17th of the season for his 81st and 82nd RBI of the season to set a new franchise record. Songco’s home run and game tying single would match the new benchmark set by DiFazio.
The Railcats added two more in the second to reclaim the lead at 4-3. Matt Hibbert poked a single to center to score Michael Vaughn, who led off the inning with a double, and an error by Cavan at short gave the Railcats the lead.
A pair of run scoring doubles by the Railcats three and four hitters would give the Railcats a 6-3 lead, their largest of the ballgame. Dustin Geiger hit one that dropped in the gap in left center from the cleanup spot in the fifth and Jose Sermo smoked a two bagger to right in the seventh.
Jeff Shields exited the ballgame after 6.0 innings allowing a season high five runs, four earned, on six hits while walking three and striking out a pair. Kevin Cravey allowed his first runs as a Saint on three hits across 2.0 innings of work. Mike Zouzalik picked up the win to improve to 4-1 on the season after a perfect inning of relief in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts.
It was the Saints’ ninth series sweep of the season as they took four games from the Railcats to improve to 8-2 in the season series against Gary.
The Saints will begin the final series of the regular season as they host the New Jersey Jackals in game one of a three game tilt at CHS Field Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Reyes Dorado (2-3, 4.60) to the mound against Jackals RHP Brian Ernst (8-7, 2.99).The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, as well as online at saintsbaseball.com. Listeners at the ballpark can tune into 97.9 FM.