Saints Fall in Season Opener to Canaries, 9-4
SIOUX FALLS, SD (July 3, 2020) – For one night the final score didn’t matter. For one night you could overlook the four home runs allowed, the two errors, and the loss. Because the most important thing on Friday night at Sioux Falls Stadium was the fact baseball was played. The defending American Association champs, the St. Paul Saints, played their first of 24 games against their hubmates, the Sioux Falls Canaries, and fell 9-4 in front of 1,522.
Saints starter Eddie Medina was bitten by the long ball, giving up a career tying three home runs, with the first coming off his former teammate from a year ago, Jabari Henry. After Andrew Ely led off by reaching on a throwing error from catcher Mitch Ghelfi, Henry walloped a two-run homer down the left field line to give the Canaries a 2-0 lead.
In the third, another error cost the Saints a run following a Henry leadoff single. Alay Lago chopped one slowly to second that Josh Allen bobbled and his throw to second went awry allowing Henry to take third. Damek Tomscha’s ground out to third scored Henry making it 3-0.
The Saints would claw back tying the game at three as they put up their first runs of the season in the fourth. With one out, Chris Chinea singled and moved to second on an Allen single. With two outs Ghelfi roped a two-run double to left making it 3-2.
In the fifth, the Saints scored a run without the aid of a hit when Max Murphy led off with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball, was sacrificed to third and scored on a sacrifice fly from JC Millan tying the game at three.
The Canaries answered right back with two solo homers off Medina in the fifth as Ely and Lago cleared the right and left field fences, respectively, to make it 5-3. Medina went 5.0 innings allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out four.
In the sixth the Saints pulled within a run when Chesny Young walked with two outs, moved to second on a single by Ghelfi, and scored on a Connor Justus single to center that made it 5-4.
The was as close as the Saints would get as the Canaries grabbed two in the seventh, on a two-run double by Tomscha, and two in the eighth on a two-run homer from KC Huth.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three games series on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Matt Solter (NR) to the mound against Canaries RHP Grady Wood (NR). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints