SIOUX FALLS, SD (July 24, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints were the home team, but very few in the crowd wanted to see a walk-off win. Trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth the Saints scored two, including the walk-off on Max Murphy’s RBI double, in a 3-2 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium on Friday night.
The Saints were 0-9 when trailing after seven innings and had lost all 10 games when trailing going into the ninth. With the Saints down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth Nicco Blank came on to close out the game for the Canaries because their regular closer, Keaton Steele, had pitched each of the last three days. Blank started off the ninth by hitting Nate Samson in the helmet. Chesny Young then hit a ground ball to the shortstop Andrew Ely, but he had the ball go off his glove and between his legs for an error. Blank then hit Chris Chinea to load the bases. Josh Allen tied the game with a sacrifice line out to left as Samson scored easily. Murphy then roped a line drive double over the head of Ryan Brett in left as Young scored from second to cap off the comeback walk-off win.
Much like Thursday night it was a pitcher’s duel all night long as the Saints Ryan Zimmerman and the Canaries Jake Zokan matched each other zero for zero. The Saints had a great opportunity to score in the first when Alonzo Harris led off the game with a double to left. Samson followed with a walk to put runners at first and second. Young singled to center and Harris tried to score from second, but KC Huth made a perfect throw to the plate cutting down the run. With runners at the corners and one out, Chinea hit a fly ball to the right field corner that was caught by Logan Landon. Samson tagged from third and Young tagged from first. Landon’s throw to second was in time to get Young, but more importantly the out was recorded before Samson could score.
Zimmerman was magnificent and got three double plays to help himself out. In the second he gave up a one out single to Landon but got a double play off the bat of Ryan Long. In the third, Grant Kay led off with a single, but Brett followed by grounding into a double play. In the sixth, Zimmerman hit the leadoff batter, but got Huth to ground into a double play.
The Canaries finally got to Zimmerman in the seventh when he walked the leadoff batter Jabari Henry. Alay Lago doubled to the gap in right-center scoring Henry to make it 1-0 as Lago took third on a throwing error by Murphy in right. Landon made it 2-0 with an RBI single to left. Zimmerman went 8.0+ innings allowing two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five.
The Saints finally got on the board against Zokan, who had retired 12 in a row entering the eighth. Murphy led off with a sinking fly ball to center that Huth dove for, but came up empty and as the ball rolled by him Murphy raced around to third. John Silviano’s RBI groundout to first made it 2-1. Zokan went 8.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking one and striking out six.
SIOUX FALL, SD (July 25, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints are now one-third of the way through the 2020 season. In a game all too reminiscent of some they’ve played in the first three weeks of the season, they fell behind big early, clawed their way back, had a chance to tie or win it in the ninth, but fell just short losing 13-12 to the Sioux Falls Canaries on Saturday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
With the Saints trailing 13-7 in the eighth inning the first four hitters of the inning reached and scored. Josh Allen led off with a walk and John Silviano followed with a two-run homer to straightaway center, his fourth of the season, cutting the deficit to 13-9. Justin Byrd was then hit by a pitch and Mikey Reynolds doubled him to third. A sacrifice fly from Nate Samson made it 13-10. Reynolds took third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch making it 13-11.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Saints faced the league leader in saves, Keaton Steele. With one out Allen singled to left, advanced to second on a wild pitch and Max Murhpy walked. After a strikeout of Silviano, Byrd singled to right driving home Allen and sending Murphy to third as the Saints drew to within a run. That brought up the league’s leading hitter, Reynolds. He swung at the first pitch and hit a line drive to right, but it was right at Logan Landon who caught it to end the game.
The Saints fell behind 7-1 after just an inning and a half as the Canaries scored three in the first and four in the second. In the first, Andrew Ely led off the game with a walk and Jabari Henry doubled him to third. Damek Tomscha’s RBI groundout made it 1-0 and Clint Coulter followed with a two-run home run, his third of the season, making it 3-0.
The Saints got one back in the bottom of the inning when Reynolds singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Samson sacrifice fly.
The Canaries put up another crooked number in the second courtesy of an RBI fielder’s choice by Ely and a three-run homer from Henry, his first of the game and fifth of the season, making it 7-1.
The Saints scored an unearned run in the bottom of the second on a throwing error by the shortstop Ely to make it 7-2.
The Canaries scored in five of the first six innings and took an 8-2 lead in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Tomscha.
The Saints came roaring back in the bottom of the fourth with their first four run inning of the night. The first five hitters of the inning reached on singles by Chris Chinea and Allen, an RBI double from Murphy, and RBI singles from Silviano and Byrd. With one out Samson made it 8-6 with an RBI single.
The Canaries, however, would score five over the next two innings getting three in the fifth on an RBI single from Ely and a two-run homer by Henry, his second of the night and sixth of the season, making it 11-6.
They made it 13-6 in the sixth when Tomscha was hit by a pitch, Coulter walked, and Landon brought them both home with a double.
Seven of the nine Saints collected a hit with Chinea collecting three. Silviano had four RBI while Samson had three. Brian Glowicki was solid out of the bullpen going 2.1 shutout innings allowing two hits and striking out one.
SIOUX FALL, SD (July 26, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints have played 12 games in Sioux Falls Stadium this year against the Sioux Falls Canaries. They’re getting used to the friendly confines on the offensive side. The Saints blasted three home runs and got great relief from Nick Belzer and Jameson McGrane to take the rubber game of the three-game series against the Canaries 6-4 on Sunday evening.
The Saints jumped on Canaries starter Ty Culbreth in the second inning after he walked the leadoff hitter, Josh Allen, and John Silviano with one out. Mitch Ghelfi then went the opposite way with a three-run homer to right-center, his second of the season, to make it 3-0.
The Canaries got a three-run homer of their own in the fourth as Clint Coulter singled with one out. With two outs Logan Landon walked and Grant Kay followed with a three-run shot to right, his second of the season, tying the game at three.
The Canaries grabbed the lead on a miscue in the fifth. Andrew Ely led off the inning with a single to left and, with one out, Alay Lago singled him to second. Damek Tomscha then hit a high tapper back to the mound that Eddie Medina fielded, looked at second and decided to throw to first, but he threw it over the head of John Silviano allowing Ely to score making it 4-3. Saints starter Eddie Medina went 6.0 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits while walking two and striking out six.
Culbreth entered the sixth having retired eight in a row and proceeded to retire the first two hitters in the inning. That streak ended with a walk to Allen. Max Murphy then drilled a two-run home run to right, his third of the season, giving the Saints a 5-4 lead. Silviano made it back-to-back home runs with a solo blast to right, his fifth of the season and second in as many games, giving the Saints a 6-4 lead.
The rest was up to the Saints bullpen. Belzer retired the first five men he faced before a two out walk in the eighth. He struck out Logan Landon to end the inning.
In the ninth Jameson McGrane mowed down the Canaries fanning the first two hitters he faced before getting Andrew Ely to ground out to end the game.
The Saints have Monday off before heading the Newman Outdoor Field to take on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in a three-game series beginning Tuesday at 7:02 p.m. The Saints send RHP Matt Solter (3-1, 4.15) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Ryan Williams (1-1, 3.86)