Wild Pitch Delivers Wild Ending As Saints Win 12-11 In 10ST. PAUL, MN June 26, 2016
In one of the more bizarre endings in franchise history the St. Paul Saints won on a walkoff in the 10th inning. It wasn’t a homerun, walk or even an error that brought home the winning run, but a dropped third strike that helped plate the game winner as the Saints won for the fourth straight time, 12-11 over the Winnipeg Goldeyes on Saturday night at CHS Field in front of 8,125.
The Saints trailed 5-0, 7-3, and 10-6 as late as the eighth inning. In the bottom of the 10th they once again trailed 11-10 and with one out Angelo Songco got the rally started with a lined single to right. Tony Thomas tied a career high by walking for the fourth time. Willie Argo then whacked a single to left. Songco rounded third and the throw to the plate went up the first base line and to the backstop as Songco tied the game and Thomas went to third and Argo to second. Tony Caldwell then walked for a career high fourth time to load the bases. Breland Almadova’s chopper to third was fielded by Wes Darvill and his throw home was in time to get Thomas. The Saints then pinch hit Aaron Gretz and on a 3-2 pitch he swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt. The ball went between the legs of catcher Carlton Tanabe and Argo raced home to score as Gretz ran to first to finish off an improbable ending and comeback.
With the Saints trailing 10-6 in the eighth Argo led off against reliever Conor McVey by being hit by a pitch. Caldwell walked to put runners at first and second. Almadova then hit a grounder to Casio Grider at second and his throw to the shortstop Maikol Gonzalez at second was dropped which loaded the bases. After a strikeout to Maxx Garrett, Alonzo Harris roped a two-run double to left to make it 10-8. McVey departed for closer Jailen Peguero. He struck out Tanner Vavra, but Nate Hanson tied the game at 10 with a two-run single to left.
The Goldeyes would take the lead in the top of the 10th when Gonzalez reached on a single to short, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. After Ryan Rodebaugh struck out Darvill for the second out he intentionally walked David Rohm. The Saints brought in lefty Caleb Thielbar to face the lefty Josh Romanski, but on the first pitch Romanski singled to right scoring Gonzalez to give the Goldeyes an 11-10 lead.
Neither starter lasted past the second inning as Kody Knaus went just 1.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned) in the second inning. Goldeyes starter Ethan Carnes didn’t fare much better lasting 1.2 innings allowing three runs.
With the Saints down 7-3 in the third Songco blasted a solo homer to left, his eighth of the season, to make it 7-4. With two outs Caldwell walked and Almadova crushed a two-run homer to straightaway center, his third of the season, to make it 7-6.
The Goldeyes scored three in the fourth when David Rohm was hit by a pitch with one out. Cody Wheeler took over for reliever Zac Westcott. Romanski doubled Rohm to third. After an intentional walk to Reggie Abercrombie loaded the bases, Jacob Rogers doubled home two to make it 9-6. Grider walked to load the bases, but Wheeler got Ridge Hoopii-Haslam to strikeout for the second out of the inning. Carlton Tanabe then singled to right-center scoring a run, but as Rogers tried to score Grider was thrown out trying to go to third and was tagged out before the run could score keeping it 10-6 Goldeyes.
A similar play occurred in the fifth when the Goldeyes had first and second and two outs and Abercrombie singled to center. As Darvill tried to score from second Romanski attempted to go first to third, but was thrown out at second when he took too big of a turn just before Darvill scored.
The Saints used seven pitchers on the night while the Goldeyes used six. The 4:15 minute game was the 15th longest game in Saints history and the second time the Saints went four plus hours this season. They won that game in Sioux Falls, the longest nine inning game in franchise history, and are now 13-17 in four hour games. The last time they won a four hour game at home was July 22, 2014, a 4:17 game a 5-4 game against Sioux Falls.
The same two teams meet in game three of the four game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (4-1, 4.06) to the mound against Goldeyes RHP Mikey O’Brien (4-2, 4.21). It is a Salute to the Addams Family. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.