The St. Paul Saints have been struggling at home of late but had the opportunity to earn a sweep with a victory over the Cleburne Railroaders on Wednesday afternoon. Thanks to a four run second inning, spurred by Max Murphy’s bases clearing double, the Saints would take a commanding lead on their way to a 10-3 victory. The bottom of the St. Paul order led the way, going 12-19 with 8-runs scored to help complete the sweep of the three-game series.
Cleburne would jump out to a lead in the top of the first against St. Paul Saints starter Eddie Medina. Trevor Sealey doubled to start the game and came home on a Chase Simpson double two batters later.
The lead held until the second when St. Paul would take control of the game. Justin O’Conner started the inning with a base hit up the middle. Two batters later, Matt Snyder singled into left and Anthony Phillips drew a walk to load the bases. That brought Murphy to the plate, who drilled a ball to the wall in right field. All three runners came home on the double to give St. Paul the lead, 3-1. Kyle Barrett and Burt Reynolds each drew a walk to reload the bases before Brady Shoemaker walked to drive home Murphy. That would be it for Michael Gunn, who was replaced by Patrick Young and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
In the fifth, the Saints would extend their lead to six. O’Conner let off the inning with a double and scored when Dante Bichette, Jr. followed with a base hit. Phillips delivered a double the other way into right field that scored Bichette and Phillips would come home later in the inning on a Barrett base hit. That made the score 7-1.
Cleburne would get two of those runs back in the top of the seventh. Quin Trey got the rally started with a single before Sealey reached on an error. That brought Angel Rosa to the plate who doubled down the line in left. Both runners came around to score to cut the deficit to four.
St. Paul came right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Phillips singled with one out and then stole second before coming home on a Murphy double into left. A double by Reynolds brought home Murphy to extend the lead back to six.
In the eighth, the Saints added one more run. Shawn Blackwell struck out the first two batters of the inning, but a base hit by Bichette followed by a wild pitch moved him into scoring position. He scored on the Snyder single for the final run of the game as the St. Paul Saints would win, 10-3.
Eddie Medina (4-2) earned the victory, going 5-innnings. He allowed 6-hits and a run, striking out 8. Max Murphy finished 4-6 with 2-runs and 4-RBI. Justin O’Conner was 3-5 with 2-runs as was Dante Bichette, Jr. Anthony Phillips had a big afternoon as well, going 3-4 with 3-runs scored and an RBI. Angel Rosa was 3-5 with 2-RBI for Cleburne.
The St. Paul Saints now head to the road to begin a four-game series against the Kansas City T-Bones starting on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.
By Robert Pannier