ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Generally, when a baseball game is played on a Wednesday afternoon, the attendance figures are lower than night games. That was not the case at CHS Field on Wednesday, as 8,160 people witnessed the Saints defeat the Sioux City Explorers to take the three-game series.
Saints score four in the first
After the Explorers threatened in the top of the first inning, the Saints got on the board first when Danny Oh led off with a double and advanced to third when Nate Hanson singled. After Brady Shoemaker drew a walk, Anthony Gallas ripped a three-run double to left-center field to put the Saints up 3-0. Gallas later scored when Tim Colwell hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field to make it a 4-0 game.
The Explorers made a pitching change for the top of the second, sending RHP Todd Eaton to the mound. He worked a clean second inning, and a perfect third inning to get the Explorers back into a groove. That was snapped in the fourth inning when Colwell hit a one-out triple to right-center field. After Maxx Garrett struck out, Jon Kristoffersen hit an infield single to second base and advanced to second on a throwing error by second baseman Brandon Alvarez. The Saints ended the inning when Oh flew out to center field.
Explorers finally get on the board
The Explorers picked up a run in the sixth inning when Nate Samson hit a one-out double to right field, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by John Nogowski, and scored when Levon Washington singled through the right side. The Saints got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Colwell led off with a single, advanced to second when Garrett sacrifice bunted, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored when Kristoffersen singled to center field to re-extend the lead to five runs.
Saints starter Ryan Zimmerman threw a great game, going seven innings, allowing just one run and five hits. He was removed in the eighth with two runners on for Vinny Nittoli, who struck out the first batter he faced, which was Samson. The next batter up was Nogowski, who walked. That led to another pitching change, this time bringing Caleb Thielbar into the game.
The first batter that he faced was Washington, who struck out. That brought up Alvarez, who flew out to right field to end the inning. The Saints got two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and brought in Connor Little, who gave up a double, but no runs to secure the win for the Saints, their 17th of the season.
News and notes
- The Explorers ran into an interesting situation just before the game. Due to injuries, they initially listed starting pitcher Alex White as batting. Shortly before game time, they issued a new lineup with White now listed as the DH, and Mark Vazquez listed as the starting pitcher. This is a relatively new occurrence in the American Association, but not unheard of.
- The Salina Stockade, who were added to the league just two weeks before the season started, picked up just their second win of the season on Tuesday night when they defeated the Cleburne Railroaders. The Stockade are an interesting team, as they are playing as the travel team, and have no real home games. They were pulled up from the Pecos League to replace the Laredo Lemurs, who folded just before the season.
- The only other day game in the league was the Kansas City T-Bones visiting the Wichita Wingnuts. In that game, the T-Bones won by a final score of 7-5. The T-Bones announced before the game that they sold the contract of Zach Walters to the Kansas City Royals of MLB.
- The Saints now hit the road for three games in Winnipeg, followed by three games in Sioux Falls. Dustin Crenshaw, John Straka, and Jason Creasy are the three pitchers who are scheduled to pitch in the Winnipeg series for the Saints. The Goldeyes are TBA for all three games.
Sioux City -000 001 000 -- 1 5 1
St. Paul -400 101 01X -- 8 13 1
Win - Ryan Zimmerman (3-0)
Loss - Mark Vazquez (0-2)
Player of the game - Anthony Gallas (2-4, 3-rbi double in first)
Attendance was 8,160