St. Paul Saints Fall in Final Game at Midway Stadium: Saints Summary
It was a glorious night at Midway Stadium in St. Paul Thursday night. The largest crowd in Saints history filled the stadium to complete capacity, as 9,455 filled every nook and cranny of the stadium, including along the warning track where extra seating was added.
It was a festive atmosphere from the start. Several players from glory years past made appearances, including Ila Borders who was the first woman to play on a professional men’s baseball team. Members of the city council and the mayor of St. Paul were present, as was part-owner Bill Murray, who caught the opening pitch. It was a great night to celebrate the last home game for the Saints at Midway Stadium. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a win. Unfortunately for the team, that wasn’t meant to be.
The Saints got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Mitch Elliot led off the inning with a slow chopper back to the mound that pitcher Nick Hernandez was not able to field cleanly and Elliot reached first. Devin Thaut then ripped a lined shot that third baseman Jake Blackwood made a great play on for the first out. That brought Willie Cabrera to the plate, who lined a shot over the left field wall for a home run and a 2-0 Saints lead. The home run was Cabrera’s 12th of the season and seventh of August.
In the fourth the Goldeyes cut the lead in half when Casey Haerther hit a sacrifice fly that scored Brock Bond to make the score 2-1. In the bottom half of the inning the Saints responded, getting the run right back and restoring the lead back to two. Jake Taylor walked to lead-off the inning and Joe Bonfe was hit by a pitch. Tyler Peterson sacrificed both runners into scoring position and then Joey Becker followed with a flyball to center field that brought Taylor home.
Saints starter Anthony Claggett cruised through the first six innings, yielding just one run and two hits. He was in complete control, but in the seventh the Goldeyes mounted a rally to take the lead. Reggie Abercrombie led off the inning with a double just inside the third base bag. Donnie Webb walked bringing Josh Mazzola to the plate. Claggett’s first pitch to Mazzola was a ball. The second was a drive that just barely cleared the wall in left field for a home run. The three-run shot was Mazzola’s 14th of the year and gave Winnipeg their first lead of the night.
From there the Goldeyes bullpen took over the game. Kaohi Downing pitched 1.1 innings of perfect relief, and closer Chris Kissock finished the game for his 17th save of the year. Nick Hernandez was the winner, moving his record to 12-2 on the year, and Antony Claggett took the loss to drop to 6-7.
While it was a sad way to end the game, fans still got to enjoy an exciting contest in the last home game at Midway Stadium. Next season the team will move into a new lowertown stadium which promises to be a whole new experience for fans. While fans have many great memories of Midway, they will soon have the chance to make new memories in the beautiful new park. It won’t be long before they are hearing “Play Ball!” again.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA