Jon Weber Leads Winnipeg to 3-2 Victory Over St. Paul Saints
A day after rapping two hits and scoring the winning run in the ninth inning, Jon Weber was back at it again, this time driving in the tying and go-ahead runs to give the Winnipeg Goldeyes a 3-2 victory over the St. Paul Saints. The loss means that the Saints 14-series winning streak is over, as the best they can hope for in this series is a split.
Like the previous night, the Saints had things going for them early. Winnipeg had ace Nick Hernandez going and he retired St. Paul in order in the first, but in the second Ian Gac homered to lead off the inning to stake the visitors to a 1-0 lead. That was Gac’s eighth home run of the season.
In the third the St. Paul Saints extended their lead. Dan Kaczrowski walked with one out and moved to second on a single by Alonzo Harris. Willie Argo walked to load the bases and Vinny DiFazio followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Kaczrowski making it a two-run lead.
Hernandez settled down after that. He retired the Saints in order in the fourth and gave up a two-out single in the fifth before getting the last out to end the inning. That gave his team the opportunity to mount a rally. In the bottom of the fifth Hernandez finally saw his team come alive.
Robert Coe had pitched beautifully for the Saints through the first four innings. He had allowed one base runner in each inning, but the Goldeyes mounted no real threat to the right-hander. In fact he had only given up a single hit, a second inning single to Josh Mazzola who was erased on a double-play.
In the fifth, the Goldeyes finally got to Coe. Brad Boyer singled to begin the inning and two batters later Brady Wilson walked. Adam Heisler followed with a sharp single to left field and the Goldeyes had the bases loaded. That brought Chris Robinson to the plate, who hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Boyer to make it a one-run game. Casey Haerther followed with a single and the bases were loaded again, but this time with two outs. Jon Weber was the next hitter and, on a 1-1 pitch, he lined a single into right field that brought home both Wilson and Heisler to give the Goldeyes the lead.
That would be all the scoring in the contest as both teams’ buckled down. Coe pitched two more innings of scoreless ball, and Chris Peacock and Alex Sogard kept the Goldeyes off the scoreboard in the eighth.
Hernandez gave up a lead-off double to DiFazio and hit Gac to put two on and no one out in the sixth, but retired Angelo Songco and Mike Kvasnicka without giving up a run. Kvasnicka’s fly ball moved DiFazio to third, prompting Winnipeg manager Rick Forney to go to his bullpen. Brad Mincey came in and retired Joey Paciorek to end the inning.
Mincey, Rett Varner and Brendan Lafferty kept the Saints off the scoreboard over the next two innings. Jalien Peguero came in to close out the ninth and retired the visitors in order for his ninth save of the season. Hernandez earned the victory to move to 6-2, and Coe (4-2) took the loss.
Weber finished 2-4 with 2 RBI. Alonzo Harris had 2 hits for the St. Paul Saints (Read feature on Alonzo Harris).
By Robert Pannier