Medina Sharp, But Saints Fall in Walk-Off Lose, 3-2
The St. Paul Saints had their ace on the mound. He pitched like an ace. The Saints offense, unfortunately, collected just one hit from the fourth inning on. The Sioux City Explorers got a walk off sacrifice fly from Sebastian Zawada as the Saints lost for their season tying high fifth consecutive time 3-2 on Wednesday night at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park. The loss drops their record to 44-31.
With the score tied at two in the ninth Jose Sermo led off with a single to right-center. Drew Stankiewicz bunted in the air on the first base side that fell about 25 feet down the line that went for a single putting runners at first and second. Dexture McCall sacrificed the runners to second and third and Dylan Kelly was walked intentionally loading the bases. Saints reliever Mike Devine got ahead on Zawada 0-2, but he worked the count full. Zawada lifted a deep fly ball to center that Motl was able to catch, but Sermo tagged and scored easily from third for the winning run.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when three consecutive hitters walked with two outs. Josh Allen then singled to left scoring Chesny Young. John Silviano ended the inning by grounding out to second.
In the third, Young led off with a single to center. He advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt. That came back to cost the Explorers as Brady Shoemaker drilled an RBI single off the wall in right giving the Saints a 2-0 lead. Jeremy Martinez followed with a walk and that chased Explorers starter Andrew Chin. Sam Held came out of the bullpen and Allen sacrificed the runners over. Silviano was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Jhonatan Solano popped out to the first baseman and Chris Baker grounded into a fielder’s choice ending the inning.
On the other side, Medina was masterful allowing just three base runners through the first five innings, two singles to Dylan Kelly and a walk to Sermo.
In the sixth the Explorers finally broke through when Adam Sasser walked to lead off the inning. Kyle Wren sacrificed Sasser over and Nate Samson reached on an infield single to third putting runners at first and second. Medina struck out Jeremy Hazelbaker for out number two. Medina walked Sermo to load the bases and Stankiewicz singled to right scoring a pair of runs tying the game at two. That ended a string of 22.0 consecutive scoreless innings for Medina who went 7.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out five.
From the fourth inning on the Saints offense had two runners reach on dropped fly balls in the outfield in the fifth and eighth, a one out single by Dan Motl in the sixth and two walks. They managed just four hits, tying their season low.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Thursday night at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park at 7:12 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (4-3, 4.13) against Explorers RHP Peter Tago (2-1, 2.38). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson