Nate Hanson Celebrates Return to Lead Veglahn, Saints to 15-1 Victory
St. Paul Saints third baseman Nate Hanson has had a lot to celebrate of late. His wife delivered the couple’s first child a week ago, and Thursday night he celebrated that blessed event, coming off the disabled list to homer and drive in five in the team’s 15-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. Starter Eric Veglahn was brilliant, tossing eight-inning of three-hit ball, extending the Saints lead in the North Division to 7.5-games.
The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Brady Burzynski singled to start the inning. A walk to Tony Thomas moved him to second and both runners scored when Hanson doubled to right field.
It would stay a two-run St. Paul lead into the third, when the Saints would extend it to four. Breland Almadova singled to start the inning. Two batters later Dan Johnson drilled his third homer of the season to make it 4-0.
In the fourth, the home team blew the game open. Tanner Vavra got the inning started with a single and moved to third when Almadova doubled. Next up was Tony Thomas, who went the other way with a base hit to score both runners. Two batters later Hanson came to the plate. He took two quick pitches for balls and then drilled a three-run homer to make it 9-0. That was his sixth homer of the year.
In the fifth the onslaught would only get worse. Burzynski walked with one out and scored when Almadova lined a ball to the wall in center to make it 10-0. A wild pitch brought Almadova home to make it an 11-run lead.
The Saints would score their final four-runs of the game in the sixth. Hanson started the inning with a walk and Willie Argo singled to center to put two on with no one out. Next up was Bryson Myles, who drilled his first homerun since joining the team to make it 14-0. Tony Caldwell doubled home Burzynski later in the inning to make it 15-0.
While the St. Paul Saints offense was putting on a showcase, Veglahn was on fire. The left-hander allowed a double in the first and a single in the third, then really took control. He retired 10-straight starting with the final out in the third, and would not allow another base runner until the seventh. That is when the Canaries would break the scoreless streak.
Blake Schmit walked to start the inning and scored when J.C. Linares doubled down the line in left. Veglahn (3-3) would pitch one more inning before being removed. He went 8-innings, allowing 3-hits and 3-walks with just one-run scored. He also struck out 4 in evening his record. John Straka came on to pitch a perfect ninth to end the game.
Hanson was an impressive 3-5 with 2-runs and 5-RBI in his first action since July 24. Almadova was 3-5 with 3-runs and an RBI. Burzynski scored 3-runs.
Friday Night Robert Coe (8-2, 4.88) takes to the hill for the St. Paul Saints looking to become the team’s winningest pitcher in franchise history. Ray Hanson (0-4, 8.48) gets the start for the Sioux Falls Canaries. First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier