After dropping the first two games in their showdown with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, the St. Paul Saints were in need of a divine performance, and they got one Wednesday night as Trevor Foss allowed just one run through the first eight innings, and then the St. Paul Saints had to hold off a feverish comeback in a 7-5 victory. The win moved them 1.5 games behind the RedHawks for second in the North Division and 2.5 behind the Gary Southshore RailCats for first.
After a scoreless first, it would be Fargo-Moorhead that would take the lead. In the bottom of the second, Chris Jacobs hit an absolutely mammoth shot to dead center for his 10th homer of the year, and the RedHawks had a 1-0 lead.
Brandon Barker had lived dangerously early on, allowing the Saints two hits in each of the first two frames, but he had not been scored upon, and he looked like he was in a groove when he retired St. Paul in order in the third. However, things turned quickly for him in the fourth.
Zach Walters led off the inning with a ground rule double and moved to third on a ground out by Dante Bichette, Jr. That brought Nathaniel Maggio to the plate, who crushed an 0-1 pitch for his third homer of the year. That put that St. Paul Saints on top 2-1.
In the fifth, St. Paul extended their lead to three. Back-to-back singles by Burt Reynolds and Brady Shoemaker started the inning. Two batters later, Bichette drove Reynolds home to make it 3-1. That would be it for Barker.
Benji Waite came on and loaded the bases on an intentional walk, but he looked like he would get out of the inning when Justin O’Conner fouled out. He would record the final out, but not before a wild pitch allowed Shoemaker to score to extend the Saints lead to 4-1.
In the seventh, the St. Paul Saints would take a commanding lead. Anthony Pacilla came on and Walters reached on an error to get the inning started. With Walters at second, Bichette was intentionally walked and both moved up on a wild pitch. After O’Conner was intentionally walked, Walters and Bichette came home on a single by Jake Smith. Max Murphy then drove home Smith to make it 7-1.
After giving up the second inning run, Trevor Foss (2-2) took control of this game. He retired the minimum over the next six innings, allowing no hits and only a hit by pitch during that span.
Manager George Tsamis sent out Foss in the ninth to give him the opportunity to complete the game, and the RedHawks would rally. Derrick Fox doubled to get the inning going. Tim Colwell grounded a hard grounded to first that he beat out for a single, but the throw was wild allowing Fox to score. Brennan Metzger followed with a single, and that would be it for Foss. The right-hander allowed 7-hits and 4-earned runs. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out 3.
Ken Frosch relieved and gave up a sacrifice fly that brought Colwell home. A single by Jacobs moved Metzger to third and he scored on a single by Keury De La Cruz. Once again the Saints turned to the bullpen, bringing on Beck Wheeler. He struck out Quinn Irey before Maikol Gonzalez brought home Jacobs with a base hit. Fargo-Moorhead was within two, bringing Yhoxian Medina to the plate as the winning run. He quickly got ahead 2-0, but Wheeler threw three straight strikes, fanning Medina to end the game to earn his first save of the season.
Burt Reynolds finished 3-5 with a run scored and Jake Smith was 2-5 with a run and 2-RBI for the Saints. Chris Jacobs led the RedHawks going 2-3 with 2-runs and an RBI.
The final game of this four game set is scheduled for 12:30 tomorrow afternoon.
By Robert Pannier