ST. PAUL, Minn. – For the second straight night, the Gary Southshore Railcats defeated the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field, but unlike Friday night, this one was close, as the Railcats only won 4-3, and the Saints had a rally in the ninth inning, as they had runners on first and second with no outs, but were unable to score any runs.
Railcats score first
Unlike Friday night, it was the Railcats who grabbed the lead early, as in the second inning Ryan Fitzgerald hit a two-out double to right-center field, and scored when John Holland singled into the same spot to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
They tacked on two more runs in the third inning when Reggie Wilson hit a one-out single to right-center field, advanced to second on a single from Colin Willis, and scored when James Alfonso singled to left field, and Willis scored on the same play to put the Railcats up 3-0.
The Railcats struck for another run in the fifth inning when Willis led off with a double and scored when Frank Martinez singled to left-center field to put the Railcats up 4-0.
Saints begin to claw their way back in the fifth
Railcats starter Charlie Rosario was pitching very well on the night, as he struck out the first five batters that he faced, the second time this season that he has done that. He was working on a shutout until the fifth inning when Anthony Gallas recorded just the second hit of the night for the Saints.
Tony Thomas followed with a single to left field, which brought newly-signed Kes Carter to the plate. In just his second at-bat with the Saints, he hit a three-run home run to right field to put the Saints within just one run. The Saints were unable to get anything else, as the next three batters were all retired to end the inning.
Saints starter Ryan Zimmerman pitched into the seventh inning, giving up 10 hits and four runs before being removed for Brandon Peterson, who finished the seventh and completed the eighth without a hit allowed before giving way to former big leaguer Caleb Thielbar. He allowed a hit, but no runs, sending the game into the bottom of the ninth with the Saints needing just one run to tie the game, and a second to win.
Saints fail to finish the job in the ninth
The first batter for the Saints was Nate Hanson, who hit a single to left field for his first hit of the night. He was followed by Brady Shoemaker, who picked up his second hit of the night, a single to center field. That was where Rosario’s night would end, as manager Greg Tagert removed him from the game in favor of Dresen Johnson.
The first batter that he faced was Gallas, who struck out looking for the first out. The next batter to step into the box was Thomas, who struck out swinging for the second out. That left the game up to Carter, who hit a high fly ball to left field, but Wilson was able to camp under it and make the final out of the game, giving the Railcats not only a game win but also a series win.
The Saints and Railcats will complete the three-game series on Sunday afternoon when RHP John Straka (3-1, 3.82) takes the mound for the Saints. He will be opposed by LHP Alex Gunn (2-3, 4,34). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
Win – Charlie Rosario (5-3)
Loss – Ryan Zimmerman (3-2)
Save – Drasen Johnson (3)
Player of the game – Colin Willis (3-5, two doubles)
GAR – 012 010 000 -- 4
STP – 000 030 000 – 3
Announced attendance – 8,289