Martinez Homer Helps Saints Complete Comeback
FARGO, ND (June 28, 2019) – The best team in the American Association took on the hottest team in the league. The St. Paul Saints entered play with the best record at 26-12. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks began the day with a 10-game winning streak. The Saints trailed entering the ninth for the second consecutive game and for the second time found a way to win downing the RedHawks 5-4 in 11 innings at Newman Outdoor Field on Friday night. With the win the Saints improved to 27-12, best record in the league.
With the Saints down 4-2 in the eighth Brady Shoemaker delivered with a solo homer to left, his eighth of the season, cutting the deficit to one.
In the ninth facing RedHawks closer Geoff Broussard, who had given up two runs in 18.2 innings with one of those to the Saints in a walk-off win at CHS Field, retired the first man he faced. Burt Reynolds came through with a triple to left-center. After a strikeout to Chesny Young, Joey Wong stepped to the plate. He lined a single into right scoring Reynolds to tie the game.
In the 11th Jeremy Martinez blasted a solo homer to left, his fifth of the season, giving the Saints their first lead of the night.
Todd Van Steensel slammed the door shut in the bottom of the 11th striking out the first two and getting a fly out from Devan Ahart to end the game. Van Steensel earned his 11th save of the season.
The night didn’t start out well for the Saints as the RedHawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead. In the second Ahart hit a solo homer off of Dustin Crenshaw, Ahart’s second of the season, making it 1-0.
In the third the RedHawks added two more when Yhoxian Medina led off with a triple. Brennan Metzger singled to right-center driving in Medina making it 2-0. Tim Colwell’s single to right put runners at the corners. Crenshaw, however, got a double play off the bat of Chris Jacobs. It scored the run making it 3-0, but limited the damage.
The Saints utilized a huge mistake in the fifth to put up their first two runs of the night. With one out Wong walked. Max Murphy then hit a grounder to the third baseman Leo Pina. His throw to second was missed by T.J. Bennett and went into right field as Wong went to third. Dan Motl hit a grounder to the left of the third baseman Pena, who dove and knocked the ball down, got up and threw out Motl to first as the run to scored making it 3-1. Blake Schmit followed with an RBI single to center cutting the Saints deficit to one at 3-2.
The RedHawks got what they thought was a huge insurance run in the seventh when Daniel Comstock led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Medina. With two outs Crenshaw departed for lefty Ken Frosch to face the left-hand hitting Colwell. He reached out and hit a grounder to the left through the shift and into left field scoring Comstock making it 4-2.
This is the second win in as many games when trailing entering the ninth. Prior to Wednesday night the Saints hadn’t won a game when trailing entering the ninth since June 25, 2016. The Saints have now won 12 consecutive opening games of a series and improved to 5-3 in extra inning games and are 12-6 in one run games.
The second game of the three game series is on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Jake Matthys (5-1, 4.50) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Taylor Bloye (0-0, 3.24). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson