Veglahn Impresses In First Pro Start, But Outdone By Former Major Leaguer In 5-1 LossST. PAUL, MN July 1, 2016
The 22-year-old St. Thomas graduate and MIAC Pitcher of the Year, Eric Veglahn, made his first professional start on Friday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City. Unfortunately for the St. Paul Saints lefty, the man on the hill for the Kansas City T-Bones was former Major Leaguer Mike Kickham. Veglahn went toe-to-toe with Kickham, but despite giving up just three runs in 7.0 innings the Saints lost 5-1.
Veglahn was trying to get the sour taste out of his mouth of his first professional appearance when he gave up four runs (three earned) in 1.0 inning of relief to the Winnipeg Goldeyes on June 26, taking the loss in a 12 inning defeat. He did that and more on Friday stifling the T-Bones through the first four innings. In the third he got a little help from his defense when Brian Erie singled with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball. Veglahn struck out Starlin Rodriguez, but Tyler Massey singled to right. Breland Almadova, who leads the league in outfield assists with seven, came up throwing and threw out Erie by plenty, to end the inning.
The T-Bones finally got to Veglahn in the fifth when Brett Wiley, who would collect three hits on the night, led off with a single. Jimmy Mojica doubled him to third. Dalton Wheat doubled home both runners to give the T-Bones a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth Anthony Gallas hit his first of two home runs on the night, a solo shot to left, his sixth of the season, to make it 3-0. Veglahn went 7.0 innings allowing three runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two.
The Saints offense, however, could do nothing against Kickham. The former sixth round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2010, who pitched 14 games for the Giants in 2013 & 2014, was nearly unhittable all night long. He gave up a two out single to Nate Hanson in the second and a two out single to Alonzo Harris in the third.
In the sixth and seventh innings Kickham walked the leadoff man, but both times got double plays to end the inning. The Saints would never reach second base against Kickham. He went 8.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking three and striking out six.
The Saints prevented themselves from being shutout for the first time this season when they scored in the ninth off of reliever Aaron Baker. With one out Breland Almadova singled and moved to third when Hanson reached on a fielding error by Mojica at third. Angelo Songco’s sacrifice fly got the Saints their lone run.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Saturday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP John Straka (5-2, 6.26) to the mound against T-Bones RHP David Holman (2-3, 5.71). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.