St. Paul Saints Rally Late to Down Pesky Stockade, 10-6
The Salina Stockade entered Friday afternoon’s game with the St. Paul Saints as losers of 12 straight games. The prospect of ending that run were quite daunting when they were forced to face one of the top pitchers in the American League in Mark Hamburger, but the pesky Stockade did not go down without a fight. After falling behind, 4-0, Salina took the lead and would later tie the score before a 4-run seventh gave the Saints the final margin of victory in this rain shortened affair.
After a scoreless first inning, the St. Paul Saints took the lead against Chris Cummins in the second. With one down, Tony Thomas singled and moved to second on a walk to Anthony Gallas. Two batters later, Jon Kristoffersen walked to load the bases, before Tanner Vavra singled to score Thomas. Danny Oh was the next hitter, and he drilled a double to the wall in center that cleared the bases, giving the Saints the 4-0 lead.
Mark Hamburger had been his usual efficient self through the first two innings, but in the third Salina battled back and took the lead. Aaron Olivas lined a single to center to get the frame started and moved to second on a single by Eric Ferguson. With two down, Jordan Caillouet walked bringing Daniel Aldrich to the plate. The first pitch that Hamburger threw to Aldrich he drilled over the right field wall for a grand slam. That tied the score. It would get worse. Jimmy Heck reached on an error by Hamburger and he scored when Kewby Meyer reached on an error by the Saints right fielder. That gave Salina the lead.
The Saints responded right away in the bottom of the fourth. Nate Hanson reached on an error to start the inning, and Brady Shoemaker put St. Paul back on top by crushing his team-leading fifth homer of the season. That made the score 6-5.
It would stay that way until the top of the seventh when Salina would tie the score. Hamburger retired the first two hitters of the inning, but the third out proved to be elusive. Aldrich singled and moved to second on a base hit by Heck. Caleb Thielbar relieved and Meyer greeted him with a single that tied the score.
These Stockade refused to go down, but the Saints jumped back on top in the bottom half of the inning. Vavra started the frame with a double, but was replaced on the base paths when Danny Oh grounded into a fielder’s choice. Breland Almadova walked and Oh scored when Hanson reached on an error. Shoemaker was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Gallas drew a walk that plated Almadova before Tony Caldwell singled to score Hanson and Shoemaker. That made the score 10-6.
At that point, the rains became too severe and the game was called. Caleb Thielbar (1-0) earned the victory. Tony Thomas finished 3-4 with a run scored for the Saints. Tanner Vavra was 2-3 with a run and an RBI. Daniel Aldrich had the hot bat for Salina, going 2-4 with 2-runs and 4-RBI. Kewby Meyer was 2-4 and drove in 2.
These two teams with meet tomorrow at 12:00. The Stockade will send Tim Blackmon (0-1, 6.75) to the hill. The Saints have not named their starter yet.
By Robert Pannier