Songco, Hanson Each Plate 5; Saints Crush Canaries 18-10
After struggling in Texas, the St. Paul Saints look to be right back on track, taking the third straight game from the Sioux City Canaries, this time by a score of 18-10. The Saints showed that they can flex some muscle, pounding out 18-hits, including three homeruns. Two of those were from Tony Thomas, who extended his hitting-streak to 22 consecutive games.
St. Paul got off to a great start when they plated four in the top of the first against Misael Silverio. Alonzo Harris walked to start the game and then stole his 11th base of the year. Two batters later Hanson singled to put runners at the corners with just one out. Angelo Songco followed with a double into the gap, scoring Harris easily and bringing Hanson all the way around from first to make it 2-0. Next up was Tony Thomas, who left no suspense that his hitting streak was going to continue, drilling a homerun, his sixth of the year, and the Saints were up 4-0.
In the bottom of the first, the Canaries would get one of those runs back. Cody Scarpetta retired the first hitter of the inning, but then gave up a homerun to Ozney Guillen, his second of the season, to make it a three-run Saints lead.
In the bottom of the second Scarpetta found himself in trouble. A walk to Jake Taylor started the inning and Taylor advanced to third when Blake Schmit doubled. An error scored both runners and put Michael Pair at first. Aaron Owen followed with a single and Frank Martinez drove home Pair with a ground out. That tied the score and put Owen into scoring position with just one out. The Saints starter struck out Ethan Chapman for the second out of the inning, but Guillen delivered a clutch two-out single to score Owen and give the Canaries the lead.
Silverio held the Saints’ bats down in the second and third innings, but in the fourth they would tie the game. Tanner Vavra singled with one out and moved to second on a single from Maxx Garrett. With two down, Alonzo Harris delivered a clutch single of his own, plating Vavra to make it a 5-5 game.
In the fifth, St. Paul would take the lead and never give it back. Hanson walked and Thomas singled to put two on with one out. A single by Vavra loaded the bases, but there were now two outs in the inning and the Saints needed a big two-out hit from Garrett. The St. Paul catcher delivered, drilling a base hit scoring both Hanson and Thomas and St. Paul was on top to stay.
In the sixth, Breland Almadova singled with one out and then stole his eighth base of the season. Hanson followed with a single to drive home the runner and extend the lead to three.
The seventh inning would see St. Paul blow the game open. Vavra was hit by a pitch to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice. Walks to Sam Maus and Harris loaded the bases, and a walk to Almadova plated Vavra. Hanson drove home the 10th run of the night for St. Paul with a single, and Songco cleared the bases with a double to the wall. Back-to-back wild pitches brought home Songco, and it was 14-5.
In the eighth, the St. Paul Saints would continue the hit parade. Maus and Almadova singled to put two on with one out. Hanson then drilled his fifth homerun of the season to extend the lead to 12. Two batters later Thomas delivered another homerun, No. 7 on the season, to make it an 18-5 game.
In the ninth, the Sioux Falls Canaries made the game a little bit more interesting. A three-run homerun by Chris Grayson gave the Canaries eight-runs. Owen and Martinez would also drive in runs to give Sioux Falls double-digits, but that would be all they would score.
Benji Waite (1-0) earned his first victory for the Saints with 2.2 innings of outstanding relief. Silverio (1-3) took the loss.
Every Saints starter but one had at least one-hit in the game. Hanson was 4-5 with 4-runs scored and 5-RBI. Songco also drove in 5 in a 2-4 day. He scored 2. Thomas finished 3-6 with 3-runs scored and 3-RBI. Vavra was 3-5 with 3-runs scored.
For Sioux City, Guillen had an outstanding day, going 3-5 with 2-runs and 2-RBI.
These two teams will continue their four-game series on Saturday. John Straka (2-1, 7.54) goes for the St. Paul Saints against Shawn Blackwell (2-1, 4.73). Game time is 6:05.
By Robert Pannier