Gary RailCats Upend St. Paul Saints 4-2: Saints Summary
After snapping the team’s nine-game losing streak on Monday, the St. Paul Saints fell again Tuesday night 4-2 to the Gary Southshore RailCats. The Saints twice had the lead in the game before a two-run sixth sunk them.
The Saints got on the board right away in the first when Devin Thaut led off the game with a double. One out later Willie Cabrera doubled himself with Thaut scoring on the play. For the second game in a row the Saints scored first, but the lead did not last long.
In the bottom of the second inning Drew Muren led off with a walk against Saints starter Nick Barnese. Craig Maddox followed with a double scoring Muren from first to tie the score. Barnese would get out of the inning without any further damage however.
In the top of the fourth the Saints jumped back in front against Gary starter Stephen Hiscock. With two outs Joe Bonfe and Joey Becker got back-to-back singles to put runners at first and second. Vinny DiFazio then got an infield single when he hit a ball to short that Daniel Pulfer made the play on, but the throw was in the dirt and 1B Wally Backman, Jr. could not block it. The ball skidded away from Backman and Bonfe scored to give the Saints that 2-1 lead.
Barnese was cruising for St. Paul, retiring 12 in a row at one point, but in the sixth he got into trouble that cost him the game. Pulfer made up for his earlier error when he led off the inning with a single. Drew Martinez followed with a double that scored Pulfer and tied the game. One out later Martinez scored when Ryan Babineau singled up the middle to put the RailCats in the lead.
In the seventh Gary would add to the lead on a crazy series of plays. With one out Jose Garcia and Backman had back-to-back singles. With Pulfer at the plate, DiFazio attempted to pick Backman off of first but his throw sailed, allowing Garcia to reach third. Keith Brachold retrieved the ball and threw to third, but his throw went over the head of Henry Wrigley and Garcia scored making it 4-2. The play got even wackier though. Backman had reached second on the Brachold error, and after the ball was given back to Barnese, Backman attempted to go to third, but got tangled up with the umpire. He got up and raced for third but Barnese throw to Wrigley beat him there and Backman was out. It was clearly one of the craziest plays any fan will ever see.
That was the Saints starters last inning. The righty went seven innings, giving up eight hits, one walk and three earned runs, while striking out seven. The loss moved his record to 6-8 on the season.
Hiscock was the winner for Gary. He gave up nine hits in six innings of work, striking out five. He is now 9-5 on the year. Andy Loomis grabbed his second save of the season.
The Gary win coupled with the Lincoln Saltdogs loss moved Gary just one-half game out of first in the Central Division. The Saints remain seven behind Laredo for the Wild Card.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA