Samson Delivers Game-Winner to End Marathon, 7-6
ST. PAUL, MN (September 5, 2020) – Jameson McGrane gave the St. Paul Saints every last ounce he had in a stellar 3.0 inning relief appearance. Nate Samson, who wasn’t in the starting lineup, came through with the eventual game winning RBI in the 12th. The Saints pitchers punched out a franchise tying high 18 in an incredible 7-6, 12 inning, come from behind victory over the Winnipeg Goldeyes, who were the home team at CHS Field, on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 1,500.
With the Saints down 6-5 in the top of the ninth, the Goldeyes turned the ball over to the all-time saves leader in the American Association, Victor Capellan. Chesny Young led off the inning with a single to center after a 10 pitch at bat. With two outs Mikey Reynolds looped a single to left moving Young to second. Chuck Taylor tied it up with a single to right as Young scored.
The game stayed that way until the top of the 12th when Alonzo Harris reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by second baseman Kevin LaChance. That brought up Samson, who didn’t start the night, but was forced into action when John Silviano was thrown out of the game following his strikeout in the 10th. Samson drilled an RBI triple into the gap in right-center putting the Saints up 7-6.
In the bottom of the 12th Paul Voelker came on to close it out. Jonathan Moroney led off with a single to center. With one out, Wes Darvill hit a sharp ground ball to first that Drew Stankiewicz, who was only playing first because of the ejection, fielded and stepped on first and then fired to Samson at second who tagged out Moroney to end the game.
The Saints had to tap into their bullpen early in the game when starter Pete Tago lasted just 2.1 innings allowing four runs on four hits. The bullpen went 9.2 innings allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out 15.
With the Saints down 4-2 in the fourth Harris walked and Chris Chinea reached on an infield single. Silviano singled home Harris to make it 4-3. Young walked to load the bases and the Saints tied it when Mitch Ghelfi was hit by a pitch. With two outs, a throwing error by Darnell Sweeney at third on a ball hit by Mikey Reynolds gave the Saints a 5-4 lead.
The Goldeyes tied it in the bottom of the fourth on a solo homer by Kyle Martin, his 14th of the season.
The Goldeyes took the lead in the sixth on another solo homer, this time by LaChance, his fifth of the season.
The game lasted four hours and 40 minutes, tied for the eighth longest in franchise history. The Saints are now 21-21 in four-hour contests in their franchise history.
The Saints kept their playoff hopes alive by virtue of the win, but their elimination number is one.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Mike Devine (3-3, 2.59) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Mitchell Lambson (4-3, 4.39). The game can be seen on 45TV, streamed at aabaseball.tv, and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
by Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints