Nick Barnese Dominates Kansas City T-Bones for St. Paul Saints Win: Saints Summary
After being roughed up by the Wichita Wingnuts at home last Thursday, right-hander Nick Banese got his stuff back in Kansas City and dominated the T-Bones on the way to a 6-1 win. The big righty had his best stuff on display, and gave his bullpen a much needed break.
Barnese went seven innings to even his record at 6-6, giving up just five hits and one walk, whiling striking out eight. It was his fifth win in his last six starts, and the 11th start in his last 12 where he gave up three earned runs or less. The only challenge he faced was in the fifth when he gave up a one out single to Robbie Kuzdale, who was then driven home by TJ Mittelstaedt. Mittlelstaedt tried to stretch his double into third, but a perfect relay of RF Keith Brachold to Jared McDonald to Henry Wrigley nailed him at third, and this was the last threat that the T-Bones would mount.
On the other side of the game, the Saints offense provided all the offense Barnese could need and more. Brachold had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-3 with a double. C Jake Taylor also hit well going 2-4 with two runs and three RBI, including his fifth home run of the year. Taylor has been especially hot of late, with him getting at least two hits in seven of his last nine games. He also has three home runs in his last four games.
Angelo Songco was also a dominant force in the game. He had been seven for his last 32, but had shown some signs of breaking out of the slump by going 5-14 against Wichita. Monday night he went 3-4 with his 12th home run of the season, and added two runs and two RBI.
For the first time in what seemed like weeks the Saints jumped on top early, and it was courtesy of Songco, Evan Bigley and Taylor. After Songco and Bigley singled with one out, Taylor took the first pitch from T-Bones pitcher Casey Barnes and drove it over the right field fence for a three-run homer. One inning later Songco would homer and the Saints were the team that was scoring early, and that had staked their starter to the big lead.
With the lead Barnese went to work. He used an assortment of pitches to keep the T-Bones off balance, and never had himself in trouble. The righty faced just 26 batters in his seven innings of work, and threw 61 of his 93 pitches for strikes.
The start was greatly needed by a team that has had to turn to their bullpen early and often since the All-Star break. Even Barnese’s first start after the break went badly, but he quickly regrouped and put together one of his best starts of the season.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA