Medina Grounds RedHawks, Saints Prevail, 4-3
The St. Paul Saints got the Eddie Medina of old on Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field. Battling through a couple of different injuries, Medina hadn’t looked like himself over his last four starts, but he returned to form against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. He didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth and the Saints hung on for a 4-3 victory. The win improves the Saints to 39-21 on the season, the best record in the league.
Bret Helton, who entered the game with a 2.89 ERA and just one home run allowed, walked Brady Shoemaker with two outs in the first. John Silviano then crushed a two-run homer to right-center, his sixth in 19 games with the Saints, giving the Saints a 2-0 lead. That appeared to be enough for Medina as we was incredible all night long.
Medina walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the first, Brennan Metzger, before retiring the next six hitters.
In the third Medina once again walked the leadoff hitter in the inning, Brian Olson, but he got a fielder’s choice groundout from Yhoxian Medina and Metzger grounded into an inning ending double play.
Medina finally gave up his first hit of the night with two outs in the fifth when Leo Pina doubled over the head of right fielder Josh Romanski. Medina, however, would get Brian Olson to ground out to end the inning.
In the sixth the Saints extended their lead to 4-0 thanks in part to Friday night’s hero Troy Alexander. Jeremy Martinez and Romanski led off with walks and Helton departed for reliever Carter Hope. Chesny Young sacrificed the runners over and Alexander lined a two-run single to right.
The RedHawks finally broke through against Medina in the sixth when Metzger walked with one out. With two outs Devan Ahart doubled home Metzger making it 4-1, but Ahart, who stumbled coming around second, was thrown out trying to go to third.
Medina worked into the eighth, but left with an injury. Pina grounded one off of Medina as the ball ricocheted to the third base side. Medina raced it down, slipped on the grass and fired to first to get Pina, but Medina would leave with an injury. Landon Beck came in and gave up a double to Olson and walked Yhoxian Medina. He struck out Metzger for the second out of the inning. Lefty Ken Frosch came out of the bullpen to get the lefty Tim Colwell on a groundout to second to end the inning.
In the ninth Todd Van Steensel came in to close it out. After retiring the first hitter, he walked Chris Jacobs. Correlle Prime then hit a slow grounder up the middle that was fielded by the shortstop Chris Baker. He raced to touch second, but the runner was ruled safe. A passed ball moved the runners up to second and third. A sacrifice fly by T.J. Bennett scored Jacobs to make it 4-2. The RedHawks had pitcher Michael Hope at the plate because Pina left the game and there was no one on their bench. A wild pitch moved Prime to third. Hope then hit a little dribbler to third for an infield single that scored Prime to cut the Saints lead to one. Van Steensel settled down and struck out Olson to end the game as he picked up his 15th save of the season.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. The Saints are TBA while the RedHawks send RHP Taylor Bloye (3-1, 2.39) to the mound. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson