St Paul Saints destroy Gary Southshore Railcats
A general view of CHS Field during the game.(St. Paul Saints/)

After a close game on Friday night, the St. Paul Saints scored early and often on Saturday night as they defeated the Gary Southshore Railcats 18-8 at CHS Field. The win was the third of the season for the Saints.

Gary scores first, but Saints respond in a big way

The Railcats got on the board first as Matt Hilbert led off the inning with a walk. He stole second and advanced to third when Masato Fukae grounded out. Brennan Metzger then stepped up and flew out to center fielder Alonzo Harris for the second out, but Hilbert scored putting Gary up 1-0.

The lead would not last long as the Saints batted around in their half of the inning. It started when Harris led off by reaching on an error by the shortstop. Breland Almadova then followed with a single to the pitcher, and Willie Argo smacked a triple that allowed both Harris and Almadova to score.

After Angelo Songco grounded out, Nate Hanson was hit by a pitch. Tony Thomas hit a single to center field, scoring Argo. Mike Gilmartin singled to center field, followed by Tony Caldwell flying out to center field, scoring Hanson. Tanner Vavra ended the inning with a strikeout.

Saints score more in the second

The Saints went right back to offense in the second inning as Harris again led off, but this time, he flew out to center field. Almadova followed with a double to left field, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Argo walked, Songco singled to left, scoring Almadova and advancing Argo to second. Hanson followed that up with a single to center field, loading up the bases for Thomas, who singled to center, scoring Argo and Songco.

Angelo Songco swings during the game.
(St. Paul Saints/)

Each of the next three Saints batters singled, allowing three more runs to score, and putting the Saints up 11-1. The Saints tacked on two more in the third on back-to-back home runs by Songco and Hanson. The Railcats got three more runs in the fourth inning when Metzger led off with a single. Jeremy Hamilton followed with a ground-rule double, and then Jose Sermo stepped up and hit a three-run home run, cutting the lead down to just 11-4.

The teams exchanged runs in the fifth and sixth, with the Saints getting two home runs from Songco and Thomas. After the sixth, neither team scored until the ninth inning.

In the ninth, the Railcats stepped up needing a huge rally, and they nearly got it. Hilbert got a one-out single, followed by Fukae doubling to advance Hilbert to third. Metzger stepped up and singled to center, scoring Hilbert and advancing Fukae to third. Alex Crosby stepped up and hit a single, but when Sermo doubled, Crosby was thrown out at home trying to score for the second out. Tillman Pugh then grounded out to end the game.

The hitting was good,” Manager George Tsamis said after the game. “Shields pitched good, and overall we played much better than we did last night.”

QUICK HITS                                                                                                           

- The 18 runs are not a record for the Saints, as the record for most runs in a single game is 22, which they did in the 2006 season.

- John Straka, who the Saints acquired last week, will get the ball for the series finale on Sunday afternoon against Travis McGee for the Railcats.

After Sunday’s game, the Saints will head to Sioux Falls for a three-game series with the Canaries before returning to St Paul.