Series Preview: St. Paul Saints at Sioux Falls Canaries
Sioux Falls Stadium, the sight of the series. (Photo: Sioux Falls Canaries)

Series Preview: St. Paul Saints at Sioux Falls Canaries

The St. Paul Saints, coming off a series sweep of the Gary Southshore Railcats that saw multiple offensive explosions, travel to Sioux Falls to face the Canaries.

Stevie Larson

The St. Paul Saints are looking to match last season’s 74-26 mark, and are off to a great start, as they swept the Gary Southshore Railcats in four games to open the season. Their next opponent are the Sioux Falls Canaries, whom they faced last Monday and Tuesday in exhibition games, with each team winning one.

About the Saints

The Saints are coming off a series sweep of the Railcats, a series that saw them nearly lose the game on Friday night after the bullpen was unable to finish the job.

Mike Gilmartin is the best hitter right now for the Saints, as he is batting .667/1.111/.769 in just 9 at-bats. Nate Hanson has 14 at-bats, and a slash line of .467/.867/.500. Gilmartin is also the team leader in slugging percentage and on-base percentage by wide margins for both categories.

On the pitching side, Mark Hamburger is the best starting pitcher, as in his only start of the season, he went seven innings, giving up one run on three hits while taking home the win. Cody Wheeler is the best relief pitcher right now for the Saints, as he has thrown three innings in two appearances, with five hits allowed, but he has not allowed a run yet.

About the Canaries

The Canaries are also coming off an opening weekend sweep, over the Sioux City Explorers, who were the best team in the league last season record wise.

The Canaries are led by Blake Schmit, who is batting .545/.545/.545, with six hits and four runs scored. David Bergin is second, with a slash line of .429/.857/.529 in 17 plate appearances. Bergin is also tied for the team lead in home runs with two. In that category, he is tied with Ethan Chapman. Bergin is the sole leader in RBI’s, with 8 runs batted in so far this season.

The pitching staff is led by starting pitcher Shawn Blackwell, who in his only start of the season went 8 innings, giving up four runs and six hits. Shane Street is the most used relief pitcher, as he has pitched two innings in three appearances, giving up no runs and just one hit, with three walks also on his record.

Last meeting

This is the first meeting this season, but they did meet last week in exhibition play, as the Canaries took home the win on Monday night, while the Saints took home a walk-off win on Tuesday afternoon.

Looking Ahead

The Saints will return home after the series to face the Kansas City T-Bones, while the Canaries will travel to Sioux City to face the Explorers.