Dan Kaczrowski Sends to St. Paul Saints to 40th Win of Season
A month ago the St. Paul Saints were reeling from injuries and needed some help to keep the club afloat until they got healthy again. Dan Kaczrowski, who hadn’t played in two seasons, was called by manager George Tsamis and asked to come in fill in. Now Tsamis may find it hard to keep Kaczrowski out of a Saints uniform.
The second baseman continued his run of clutch hits Thursday night, driving in the winning run in a two-run eighth that saw the St. Paul Saints battle back to win for the 40th time this season in just 52 games.
Stephen Bougher started for the Sioux Falls Canaries. The right-hander gave up an unearned run in seven innings of work in his last start, but has been inconsistent this season, following up a good start with a bad. In the third inning it turned bad for the righty. Alonzo Harris led off the inning with his seventh home run of the season. Two batters later Vinny DiFazio singled, and he scored on a double by Ian Gac. Angelo Songco’s sacrifice fly scored Gac and it was 3-0 Saints.
Pedro Hernandez was the St. Paul starter and he has been one of the best in the American Association this season, but he did not appear to have his best stuff on this night. In the fourth the Canaries cut the deficit to just one-run. David Belgin walked to start the rally and scored on a double by Brian Humphries. Two batters later Humphries scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2.
In the fifth Sioux Falls tied the score. Jake Luce began the inning with a single and moved to second on a ground out. Jason Repko’s single tied the score. Repko finished with a big night, going 3-5 with 3 RBI.
The Saints would regain the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Alonzo Harris walked and moved to second on a heads up play on a fly ball hit by Willie Argo. Vinny DiFazio then doubled into the alley easily scoring the speedy Harris to make it 4-3.
In the bottom of the seventh the Canaries not only tied the score, but took their first lead of the game. With one out Vickash Ramjit singled. Two batters later Repko hit his fifth home run of the season and Sioux Falls led 5-4.
Now it was time for the St. Paul Saints to do something they have not had to do too much of this season – come from behind. They did just that in the top of the eighth inning. Mike Kvasnicka walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Joey Paciorek’s double brought Kvasnicka home. Two batters later Kaczrowski came to bat against Cameron McVey and lined a single up the middle scoring Paciorek to give the Saints the lead.
Now it was time for the bullpen to deliver and boy did they ever. Chris Peacock relieved followed the Repko home run and pitched a perfect inning of relief. He earned the victory to move to 2-0. Mike Zouzalik pitched the final 1.1 innings, striking out all four batters he faced for his second save of the season. Of the 17 pitches he threw, 12 of them were for strikes.
Four Saints hitters had two hits in the game, including DiFazio, Kvasnicka, Paciorek and Anthony Phillips. Harris scored two runs.
By Robert Pannier