Robert Coe Shuts Down Canaries Offense in 7-0 St. Paul Saints Victory
It’s becoming as predictable as cold weather in January these days for the St. Paul Saints. As the temperature starts to rise in Minnesota, starter Robert Coe finds himself warming up as well, and Wednesday night he delivered an outstanding outing, shutting out the Sioux Falls Canaries on 4-hits in 8-innings to lead the Saints to the 7-0 victory. That gave St. Paul back-to-back shutouts and moved Coe just two victories from the franchise record for wins by a pitcher (40).
Coe challenged the Canaries from the very start. He struck out two batters in the first and really had great command of his stuff on this day. He had a no-hitter going through the first four-innings of the game, only allowing three walks to that point. With one out in the fifth, Sioux Falls would finally get their first hit, a one out single by Michael Pair, who was then erased by a double-play. In the sixth, Darwin Perez singled with one out, and that was followed by a single by David Bergin. Coe retired the next two hitters to keep the Canaries off the board.
He would allow one more hit in the seventh, a single to Cameron Monger but he, too, was erased by a double-play. Coe (7-1) would be done after 8-innings. He allowed 4-hits and 3-walks. He also stuck out 7 in the masterful performance.
While Coe was making it a very long evening for the Canaries hitters, his offense spotted him with a lead from the very start. In the bottom of the first Tanner Vavra was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second when Angelo Songco walked. A single by Alonzo Harris loaded the bases, and Vavra scored on a sacrifice fly by Tony Thomas to make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the second the Saints increased their lead to four. Willie Argo started the inning with a single and he then stole second, his 12th steal of the season. Aaron Gretz then reached on a fielder’s choice and Breland Almadova singled to load the bases with no one out. Brady Burzynski followed by hitting into a double-play, but Argo scored to make it 2-0. Vavra was then hit by a pitch again and Songco walked to load the bases once again, but now there were two outs. That brought the hot hitting Harris to the plate, who ripped a single to left-center that scored both Vavra and Gretz to make it a 4-0 game.
The St. Paul Saints would score lone runs over each of the next two innings. In the third, Willie Argo started the inning with a single and moved to second on his 13th stolen base of the year. Two batters later Almadova singled to score Argo to make it a five-run lead. In the fourth, it would be Harris with another run driven in. Vavra hit a ground rule double to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Songco. Harris’ sacrifice fly scored Vavra to make it a six-run lead.
In the eighth, the Saints added one final run. Vavra tripled with one out and scored on a single by Songco. That gave the final scored of 7-0.
In the ninth, St. Paul sent Gene Escat to the hill looking to close it out. He would allow a lone hit but nothing more, finishing out the shutout.
Harris finished 2-4 with 3-RBI. Vavra scored 4-runs and was 2-3 with the two hit by pitches. He also doubled and tripled. Songco was a perfect 2-2 with an RBI and three walks. Jake Taylor was 1-1 with two walks for Sioux City.
The Saints go for the sweep tomorrow night. Eric Veglahn (1-2, 4.02) looks to follow up his last start with another outstanding performance for the St. Paul Saints. Left-hander Joe Bircher (1-5, 3.29) goes for the Sioux Falls Canaries. First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier