Dustin Crenshaw Smothers Wichita in 2-1 Saints Victory
The St. Paul Saints got a real shot in the arm last night when Dan Johnson rejoined the team, hitting a home run, one of the three the team hit on their way to an 8-5 victory. Monday night it was Dustin Crenshaw’s turn to revitalize the team, and boy did he ever, tossing a complete game 5-hitter in downing the Wichita Wingnuts 2-1. Dan Johnson homered for the second straight night to lead the offense.
This was a great battle between Dustin Crenshaw and Jordan Cooper. The two retired the side in order in the first but, in the top of the second, Wichita took the lead. With one down, Richard Prigatano, who was named the American Association Player of the Week earlier in the day, doubled down the right field line just inside the bag. Zac Fisher followed with a base hit that scored Prigatano to make it 1-0 Wingnuts.
Cooper retired the first eight Saints of the game, only seeing his run come to an end when Tanner Lubach doubled off the wall in right with two down in the third. In the fourth, St. Paul finally broke through. With one down, Brady Shoemaker drew a walk. That brought Dan Johnson to the plate, who drilled a shot off the right field foul pole for a two-run homer, and the Saints led 2-1. It was Johnson’s second home run in as many games since returning to the Saints.
Jordan Cooper (6-2) came out after 7-innings. He had tossed a gem, allowing 3-hits and 2-runs, while striking out 3.
In the eighth, the St. Paul Saints threatened to blow this game open. Josh Goosen-Brown relieved and gave up a double to Kes Carter to start the frame. He retired the next two batters before loading the bases with back-to-back walks. That brought the dangerous Tony Thomas to the plate, who worked the count full. However, Goosen-Brown made a great pitch, tossing a fastball over the outside corner that froze Thomas to end the threat.
Following the run in the second, Dustin Crenshaw (2-1) was absolutely brilliant. He ended the second by inducing a double-play. In the fourth, the Wingnuts would get a one out hit before a double-play ended the threat. Wichita would get just one more hit over the next four innings. The Saints starter was in complete command.
In the ninth, Crenshaw retired the first two batters of the frame, but Martin Medina took an 0-2 pitch and ripped it down the line for a double. That put the tying fun just 180-feet away with the dangerous Brent Clevlen at the plate. Crenshaw blew him away for the strikeout to end the game, 2-1. Crenshaw allowed 5-hits and one-run in his first complete game of the season. He walked none and struck out 4. The Saints starter threw just 91-pitches.
Dan Johnson had the big hit of the game with a two-run homer, and he had a walk as well. No Wingnuts batter had more than one-hit.
These two teams continue their four-game set tomorrow. Jason Hoppe (0-2, 6.23) starts for the Saints. Tim Brown (3-3, 7.75) goes for Wichita. First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier