St. Paul Saints Cruise to Victory Behind Robert Coe Gem, 6-3
The St. Paul Saints starting staff has been in a bit of disarray of late, as inconsistent performances have had Manager George Tsamis scrambling to come up with a starter that he can count on each night to take the hill. Thursday night, Robert Coe volunteered to pitch on three-days rest, and delivered an outstanding performance, allowing 2-runs and 6-hits in 6.2 innings, to lead his team to a 6-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Coe breezed through the first five innings of the game. The right-hander allowed just three-hits and only found himself in any kind of trouble in the third when he allowed back-to-back singles with one out. It was a great performance that Tsamis called “gutsy” after the game. “He pitched really well for us tonight,” explained the Manager. “We needed a starter to really step up and that is what he did.”
While Coe was shutting down the Sioux Falls Canaries offense, his own team was staking him to an early lead. Alonzo Harris led off the first with a triple off the right wall and scored on a sacrifice fly by Breland Almadova.
In the third, Chad Christensen reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sam Maus. He then stole third. With two down Almadova walked. Almadova then broke for second, and on the delayed steal Christensen scored on a stolen base of his own, that made it 2-0.
Into the fourth Christensen would play a big part in the inning, but this time because of his bat. Angelo Songco led off with a double and moved to third on a single by Tony Thomas. It was first and third and no one was out. This had big inning written all over it, but Stephen Bougher struck out Willie Argo and got a pop out from Tony Caldwell to quickly make it two down. It looked like the runners would be stranded, but Christensen took the first pitch from the Sioux Falls starter and ripped it over the left field wall for a three-run homer. The lead was now five.
In the bottom of the fifth the Saints added another run. The first two batters of the inning were retired, but Nate Hanson kept it going when he doubled down the left field line. Songco followed with a single to right that scored Hanson and it was 6-0.
The Sioux Falls Canaries refused to go down however. In the top of the sixth, Jake Taylor hit a 3-1 pitch from Coe for a solo homerun, his third of the year. One inning later Michael Pair would homer for his fifth of the season. A single by Ryan Lashley followed and that would be it for the Saints starter.
It was an outstanding performance for Coe (5-1). The right-hander allowed 6-hits, walked one, and struck out 4.
The Canaries would get one more run in the top of the eighth, Darwin Perez singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch, and stole third. He then scored on a ground out to make it 6-4.
That is as close as Sioux Falls would get. In the ninth Ryan Rodebaugh came on. He struck out the first two batters of the inning before retiring the final batter of the inning on a ground out for his 1oth save of the season.
Christensen finished the game 1-3 with 2-runs scored and 3-RBI. Songco was 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Lashely had two hits for the Canaries.
The St. Paul Saints now go back on the road, heading to Kansas City for three games against the T-Bones. Eric Veglahn (0-1, 27.00) will make his first start for St. Paul. Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier