Saints Win Ninth Straight Series To Start Season With 9-3 VictoryST. PAUL, MN June 21, 2015
SAINTS WIN NINTH STRAIGHT SERIES TO START SEASON WITH 9-3 VICTORY
ST. PAUL, MN (June 21, 2015) – With the top two teams in the American Association about to do battle over the next three days the St. Paul Saints weren’t caught looking ahead. They homered four times and crushed the Gary SouthShore Railcats 9-3 on Sunday evening at CHS Field in front of 8,218. The Saints have now won all nine series they’ve played this season and still haven’t dropped back-to-back games as they improved to 24-5 on season.
The Saints fell behind in the top of the first on an unearned run scored by the Railcats, but for the fifth straight game they scored in the first inning. With one out Steve Nikorak blasted a solo homer to left, his second of the season, to tie the game at one. After a double by Vinny DiFazio, who extended his hitting streak to 10, Ian Gac drilled a ball over the right-center field wall, his third of the season, to give the Saints a 3-1 lead. The Saints have outscored their opponents 38-8 in the first.
In the third the Saints made it 4-1 when Gac and Angelo Songco walked with one out. With two outs Joey Paciorek knocked home Gac with a single.
In the fourth Sam Maus led off the inning with a single to left and, two batters later, Nikorak drilled a run scoring double off the right-center field wall to make it 5-1. Nikorak went 2-4 with a double, homer, two RBI and two runs scored.
The Saints once again used the long ball in the fifth when Mike Kvasnicka, who came off the disabled list on Sunday, and Paciorek hit back-to-back solo homers, their first and second of the season respectively. It was the first time the Saints had gone back-to-back since Joe Bonfe and Evan Bigley did it June 11, 2014 at Midway Stadium against the Sioux Falls Canaries.
With the Saints up 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth they finished their scoring on a sacrifice fly by Gac and an RBI groundout from Kvasnicka. Gac finished the night 2-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
The Saints pounded out a total of 15 hits and totaled 43 in the series while scoring 29 runs. DiFazio has nine straight multi-hit games, but his career high nine game RBI streak came to an end.
Saints starter Dustin Crenshaw, facing his former team, went 7.0 strong innings allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out four and improved to 5-1. He’s walked just one batter in 50.0 innings this season.
The Saints now welcome in the team with the second best record in the American Association, the Sioux City Explorers who are 22-7. The three game series at CHS Field begins Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Kramer Sneed (4-1, 2.77) to the mound against Explorers RHP Jeff Marquez (4-1, 2.03). It’s our Toilet Paper Drive presented by Innovative Office Solutions. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities, heard on Club 1220 KLBB and in the ballpark on 97.9 FM.