SAINTS DRAW FIRST BLOOD, TAKE GAME ONE OF AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FINALS 12-3
SIOUX CITY, IA (September 11, 2019) – Everyone wondered how the St. Paul Saints would handle the first game of the American Association Finals after the emotional grind of Game 5 of the North Division Championship Series, a celebration and travelling through the night. They answered that question in a resounding way on Wednesday night as they scored in seven of nine innings and defeated the Sioux City Explorers 12-3 in Game 1 of the American Association Finals at Mercy One Field at Lewis and Clark Park. The Saints lead the best-of-five series 1-0.
Every starter collected at least one hit, had an RBI or scored a run. Josh Allen collected his first ever five hit game and Chesny Young went 3-3 with three RBI. The offense started right away as the former Explorer, Michael Lang, tripled with one out in the first. Brady Shoemaker’s sacrifice fly gave the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Saints used another sacrifice fly to score as Jeremy Martinez walked, Allen singled him to second and the runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Young. Chris Baker’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
The Saints had two crooked numbered innings and the first came in the third. They sent nine men to the plate and Dan Motl led off with a double down the third base line. Lang’s infield single off the glove of diving Jose Sermo at third, put runners at the corners. Shoemaker’s fielder’s choice brought home Motl giving the Saints a 3-0 lead. A single by John Silviano put runners at the corners and Martinez’ single drove home Shoemaker to make it 4-0. Allen came through with his second hit of the night to load the bases and a walk to Young forced in a run making it 5-0.
In the fourth the Saints loaded the bases on a single by Motl and back-to-back walks. A sacrifice fly by Silviano made it 6-0.
With the Saints up 7-1 in the sixth, they put the game away with a four spot as they once again sent nine men to the plate. With one out Shoemaker was hit by a pitch and Silviano reached on an infield single. Martinez walked to load the bases. Back-to-back RBI singles by Allen and Young made it 9-1. Two batters later Blake Schmit’s two-run single made it 11-1.
The Saints finished their scoring in the eighth when Allen finished off his 5-5 night with an infield single to short and advanced to second on a throwing error. Young’s RBI single made it 12-3.
The 12 runs scored by the Saints is tied for their second most in a Finals game. The only time they scored more was in a 13-0 win in Game 4 in the 1993 Finals against Rochester and in a 19-13 loss to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in Game 2 in 1998.
Game 2 of the American Association Finals is on Thursday night at 7:12 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (0-0, 6.23) to the mound against Explorers RHP Pete Tago (1-0, 0.00).