Dan Kaczrowski Leads St. Paul Saints 5-2 Victory, Kramer Sneed Wins 6th
It has been a tough return to the Saints for Dan Kaczrowski. The infielder had played for the St. Paul Saints two seasons ago, and with the injuries the club has been suffering lately, they were in need of another infielder and Kaczrowski was the guy they called to fill the void. Saturday night they were glad they did, as the infielder delivered a key home run and plated four in the Saints 5-2 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
Kramer Sneed started for the Saints, looking to win his American Association leading sixth victory of the season. Brian Mann opposed the Saints left-hander, hoping to give his club their second victory of the series.
Neither team was able to score in the first, but in the second St. Paul staked their starter to a four-run lead. Angelo Songco doubled with one out and Joey Paciorek drew a walk two batters later. That brought Anthony Phillips to the plate, who delivered a clutch RBI single to bring Songco home. That brought Kaczrowski to the plate, who drilled a Mann offering for a three-run home run. That made it 4-0.
The home run was a huge one for the infielder, who entered the game hitting below .100. The Saints were looking for some more production out of the bottom part of their order, and they had to be hoping this is the start of good things from their No. 9 hitter.
In the third the RedHawks got one of those runs back. Following a long rain delay Frank Salerno walked with one out and moved to second on a single by Charlie Valerio. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and Chad Mozingo was walked to load the bases. A walk to Dunigan forced home a run, and it looked like Sneed was going to give the runs right back, but the left-hander struck out Joe Staley to end the threat, and preserve the three-run lead.
The game remained 4-1 over the next four innings, as both pitching staffs came through with big pitches to keep their opponents off the base paths. Sneed (6-1) pitched into the seventh, allowing 4 hits and 5 walks, with just 1 run. He also struck out 6 and lowered his ERA to 2.17, sixth best in the American Association.
In the eighth the St. Paul Saints plated an insurance run, and it was Kaczrowski that came through again. Mike Kvasnicka led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Paciorek. An Anthony Phillips single moved Kvasnicka to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by the second baseman to make it 5-1.
The RedHawks refused to go down however. Joe Bonfe led off the bottom of the ninth with a triple and scored on an error to make it 5-2. After a one-0ut hit, Ryan Rodebaugh came into the game to try to close it out. He gave up a walk to Salerno right away, but struck out Valerio and got Mozingo to ground out to end the inning. That was Rodebaugh’s seventh save of the season.
Phillips finished 2-3 with a run and an RBI. Kaczrowski was 1-3 with a run and 4 RBI. Bonfe and Valerio each had two hits in the losing effort.
By Robert Pannier