Alexander Leads Saints over RedHawks, 3-2
The St. Paul Saints and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks had a combined eight All-Stars in the lineup on Friday night at Newman Outdoor Field. But it was a kid playing in just his fourth professional game that stole the show. Troy Alexander, out of the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, not only collected his first pro hit, but had all three RBI in a 3-2, 12 inning victory for the Saints. The win improves the Saints to 38-21 and they are now tied for first in the North with the RedHawks.
In the top of the 12th Chesny Young ripped a double to left-center off of reliever J.R. Bunda. Young finished the night 4-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. That brought up Alexander, who entered the game 0-7 but collected his first pro hit in the fifth. He ripped an RBI double into right field scoring Young that gave the Saints their first lead of the night at 3-2. Alexander went 2-5 with three RBI.
In the bottom of the 12th Mike Devine, part of a four reliever performance from the eighth inning on, retired the first two hitters on groundouts to third. Brennan Metzger then dropped a single just out of the reach of a diving Dan Motl in right-center. Devine, however, would get Tim Colwell to pop out to second to end the game.
Ryan Zimmerman got the start for the Saints and after a couple of runs over the first two innings really settled down. In the first Metzger tripled to the gap in left-center and Colwell’s sacrifice fly gave the RedHawks a 1-0 lead.
In the second the RedHawks loaded the bases with nobody out as three of their All-Stars reached. Correlle Prime led off with an infield single to short. T.J. Bennett followed with a single to right and Leo Pina walked. Zimmerman would make his biggest pitch of the night getting Brian Olson to ground into a double play. Despite a run scoring, Zimmerman was able to get out of the inning without further damage. Zimmerman went 7.0 innings allowing two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six.
The Saints couldn’t muster much against RedHawks starter Ryan Williams until the fifth. Young lined a single into left-center and then stole second. That’s when Alexander collected his first professional hit, a line drive into left field that also gave him his first professional RBI as Young scored making it 2-1.
In the seventh Jeremy Martinez led off with a single to left-center. With one out Young singled to left-center and Devan Ahart bobbled the ball allowing the runners to take second and third. Williams left the game for reliever Michael Hope. With Alexander at the plate and two strikes, he put the ball in play and his groundout to short scored Martinez tying the game at two.
The Saints bullpen was magnificent as Ken Frosch (0.2), Karch Kowalczyk (2.0), Jordan Jess (1.0), and Devine (1.1) combined to throw 5.0 shutout innings allowing four hits.
It was the ninth extra inning game of the season for the Saints and they have won their last five, three of them over the RedHawks. Overall they are 6-3 in extra inning games. It’s also the 26th one run game of the season. They are 15-11 in such contests.
The same two teams meet in the second game of the three game series on Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field at 6:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (5-1, 3.10) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Bret Helton (3-2, 2.89). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson