ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The St. Paul Saints split a Sunday doubleheader with the Gary Southshore Railcats on Sunday afternoon as the Saints took game one 4-0, but dropped game two 10-3. The doubleheader was necessary due to Saturday’s rainout.
Saints take game one 4-0
The Saints got the scoring started right away in the bottom of the first when Tim Colwell led off with a solo homerun to right field to put the Saints up 1-0. After two flyouts, Brady Shoemaker doubled to left-center field and ended up scoring when Tony Thomas jacked a home run to the bullpen in left field to make it a 3-0 lead. Anthony Gallas ended up flying out to end the inning.
The Railcats almost had a chance in the fourth inning when Wilfredo Gimenez led off with an infield single. He stole second and advanced to third when Ryan Fitzgerald grounded out to first. Saints pitcher John Straka was able to wiggle out of the inning without giving up any runs thanks to a weak groundout and a strikeout to keep it a 3-0 Saints lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Thomas stepped up to the plate for his second at-bat of the game and ripped a double to left field to put a runner on second with nobody out. He scored when Anthony Gallas singled to center field to boost the lead to 4-0. Gallas ended up advancing to second when pitcher Jeff McKenzie balked. He advanced to third when Jon Kristoffersen grounded out to shortstop but was stranded as Tanner Vavra grounded out to second to end the inning.
Again the Railcats had a scoring chance in the fifth inning, as they got the bases loaded with two outs thanks to an error by Nate Hanson, but Straka was again able to wiggle out of the jam to keep the lead. Straka finished that inning with 95 pitches, leading manager George Tsamis to remove him from the game in the sixth inning in favor of left-hander Corey Williams.
Williams was on the mound in the top of the seventh when Colin Willis led off with a double to left-center field. He was forced to remain there when Frank Martinez hit a sharp line drive to Hanson, who knocked it down but was unable to get an out. That was the point where Williams was removed from the game in favor of closer Seth Rosin.
He got Crosby to hit a fielder’s choice, that was strange, as it was a soft pop-up to second that wasn’t enough for the infield fly rule to be called. Vavra fielded it on a hop, threw to second for one out, then Jon Kristoffersen threw it to third for the second out. Gimenez followed with a groundout to shortstop to end the game.
Railcats break out big bats for game two
The Railcats and the Saints were scoreless through two innings in the second game, but in the top of the third, the Railcats piled on five runs after Fitzgerald led off with a triple to right-center field. He scored when John Holland grounded out. Kris Goodman followed it up with a walk and scored when Chase Harris doubled. Harris advanced to third on a wild pitch, and after Anthony Cheky Jr. drew a walk, Willis hit a single to left-center field to score Harris. Martinez got in on the act, as he singled to right field to score Cheky Jr. and Willis to make it a 5-0 game.
Jaime Del Valle followed with a single of his own, which spelled the end of the night for Jason Creasy, who was removed in favor of Connor Little. Little was able to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs, keeping it a 5-0 game.
The Saints picked up three runs in the bottom of the inning, as Brady Burzynski led off with a walk. He advanced to second when Thomas hit a two-out single and scored when Gallas doubled to right field that scored Burzynski. Thomas would score on a wild pitch, while Gallas scored when Danny Oh singled to right field to make it a 5-3 lead.
That was where the Saints ended their good luck, as the Railcats tacked on five more runs over the next three innings, while the Saints were unable to get any more runs across the plate. The game ended with a 10-3 final score in favor of the Railcats, their first win of the young season.
- The Saints ended the first series of the season with a 3-1 record, with all of their wins coming against the Railcats. Last season, the Saints swept the Railcats in the season-opening series, albeit with a completely different roster.
- The Saints will now travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. to face the Canaries in a three-game series before returning to CHS Field to face the Kansas City T-Bones. The Railcats, meanwhile, will head to Kansas City to face the T-Bones before returning home next weekend for their home opener against the Texas Airhogs.
Win - John Straka (1-0)
Loss- Jeff McKenzie (0-1)
Save- Seth Rosin (1)
Player of the game - Tony Thomas (2-3, double, home run, 2 runs scored)
Win - Conrad Wozniak (1-0)
Loss - Jason Creasy (0-1)
Save - None
Player of the game - Frank Martinez (3-5, 3 runs batted in)