Saints Rally in Homecoming to Down RedHawks, 3-2
ST. PAUL, MN (August 4, 2020) – One month after the American Association season started the St. Paul Saints finally played in front of the home fans at CHS Field. All the pomp and circumstance of an Opening Day took place including the Championship banner raising ceremony. The game had all the drama of the last time the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks were at CHS Field, Game 5 of the North Division Championship Series. Similar to that memorable night, the Saints came from behind late and used a costly error to win the game 3-2 in front of 1,489, 11 shy the maximum 1,500 allowed.
With the Saints trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning Chesny Young was hit by a pitch with one out. Chris Chinea ripped a single into left moving Young to second. With two outs Max Murphy hit a chopper back to the mound, but as pitcher Brent Jones bent down to field it, the ball went through his legs for an error that loaded the bases. Alonzo Harris then hit a ground ball into the hole between short and third that shortstop Christian Ibarra fielded and his throw to second went into right field. Two runs scored on the infield single and error giving the Saints a one run lead.
In the ninth, Jameson McGrane came on to close it out. After striking out the leadoff hitter, Leo Pina followed with a single to center. McGrane then walked Dario Pizzano to put the go ahead runs on. Ibarra grounded out to second moving the tying run to third and go ahead run to second. McGrane would pick up his seventh save by striking out Nick Kahle to end the game.
The starting pitchers were magnificent as Mike Devine of the Saints and John Anderson of the RedHawks matched each other pitch for pitch. The Saints got their lone run against Anderson in the second. With one out, Harris reached on an infield single to third. With two outs, Justin Byrd and Mikey Reynolds walked to load the bases. Nate Samson ripped an RBI single to left, but Harris was gunned out trying to score as the Saints took a 1-0 lead. Anderson went 6.2 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking two and striking out five.
Devine outpitched Anderson through the first five allowing just two runners to reach second. In the sixth, he made his lone mistake. With a runner on first, Drew Ward hit a fly ball to left that kept carrying and just got over the left field wall for a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, making it 2-1. Devine went 7.0 innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five.
Brian Glowicki pitched a perfect eighth for the Saints striking out two as he picked up his first win of the season.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (2-1, 3.77) to the mound against RedHawks LHP Tyler Pike (1-3, 4.05). The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and aabaseball.tv and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints