Saints Fall to Explorers in Exhibition Season Closer, 3-1
If St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis wants to take anything away from his teams three-game exhibition warm-up, it’s that his pitchers were in mid-season form. For the third straight game the arms were dominate in a 3-1 loss to the Sioux City Explorers on Tuesday afternoon at CHS Field in front of 5,354.
Minnesota State University Mankato grad Nick Belzer got the start for the Saints and made one lone mistake over his 2.0 innings of work. In the first, Daytona Bryden led off the game with a walk. With two outs, Jose Sermo, who hit 22 homers for the Explorers last season, drilled a two-run shot to right giving the Explorers a 2-0 lead. Belzer retired the final four hitters he faced going 2.0 innings allowing two runs.
The Explorers didn’t collect another hit until the seventh inning as Landon Beck worked a scoreless third inning, allowing just a walk.
Ken Frosch tossed 1.1 perfect innings of relief while Ryan Zimmerman tossed 1.2 perfect innings.
Ryan Schlosser allowed a lead off single in the seventh, but got a strikeout and a double play to end the inning. He went 2.0 shutout innings while striking out two.
In the ninth Jordan Jess was the recipient of some tough luck not allowing a ball to leave the infield, but giving up a run. Michael Lang led off with a dribbler down the third base line that stayed fair. Lang noticed no one covering second and reached on a double. Bryden then hit a routine grounder to third, but Chesny Young looked Lang back at second which allowed the speedy Bryden to just beat the throw to first. With two outs and runners at second and third, a wild pitch scored Lang.
The Saints got their lone run in the third when Jeremy Martinez walked. Joey Wong’s single moved Martinez to third and a sacrifice fly by Dan Motl scored Martinez cutting the Saints deficit to 2-1 at the time.
In the ninth the Saints threatened when Young reached on a fielding error by pitcher Nathan Grecken with two outs. Brady Shoemaker’s broken bat single to left-center put runners at first and second. A walk to Devon Rodriguez loaded the bases, but Burt Reynolds struck out to end the game.
The Saints open up the 2019 season on Thursday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the Milwaukee Milkmen. The City of Baseball Museum will officially open and the first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive an 1898 St. Paul Apostles jersey t-shirt.
by Sean Aronson