Tanner Vavra Helps to Make Night to Remember; Saints Win 8-6
On the night that the St. Paul Saints were celebrating their very first season (1993), former Saints great Kevin Millar returned to the field to help in the celebration, appearing in one at-bat for the team. He made that one at-bat count, drilling a home run, but it was Tanner Vavra that delivered the big blow on the celebratory night, blasting a two-run homer and driving in four in the St. Paul 8-6 victory over the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Mark Hamburger won his American Association leading sixth game of the season and Seth Rosin saved his eighth game.
The Goldeyes would grab the lead in the top of the first inning. With one down, David Rohm doubled into right field, and two batters later an error by the St. Paul right fielder allowed Reggie Abercrombie to reach and Rohm to score. Shawn Pleffner followed with a base hit that moved Abercrombie to second, before David Bergin walked to load the bases. Mason Katz then delivered a double of his own, bringing home Abercrombie and Pleffner and Winnipeg led 3-0.
In the bottom of the second, the St. Paul Saints would get two of those runs back. Tony Thomas led off the inning with a walk, bringing Millar to the plate. It was his first plate appearance since he played for St. Paul in their inaugural season. Millar took the first pitch for a ball, then homered to left field to cut the deficit to one.
In the top of the fifth, Andrew Sohn extended the lead to two, as he led off the inning with his fourth home run of the season. That made the score 4-2.
St. Paul responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three and taking the lead. Winnipeg starter Zach Dodson retired the first two batters of the inning, but Danny Oh singled to keep the inning alive. That brought Vavra to the plate, who took a 2-0 pitch and drilled it for his first home run of the season. Nate Hanson followed with a double, and scored on a base hit by Brady Shoemaker. That gave the Saints the 5-4 lead.
In the seventh, the Saints extended their lead to four. Jon Kristoffersen doubled with one out, and Oh followed by reaching on a walk. That brought Vavra back to the plate, who drilled a double down the line in left, scoring both runners to make it 7-4. Vavra then came home on a base hit by Hanson to make it 8-4.
The Goldeyes got one of those runs back in the top of the seventh-inning. Hamburger retired the first two batters of the inning, but Rohm singled before Josh Romanski doubled to bring him home.
Winnipeg would score one more run in the top of the eighth. Katz doubled with one out, and scored on a Wes Darvill base hit. That cut the deficit to two, but the Goldeyes would get no closer.
Mark Hamburger (6-1) earned the victory, going 6.2-innings, allowing 9-hits, 2-walks, and only 2-earned runs. He struck out 3. Tanner Vavra was 2-5 with 2-runs and 4-RBI. Nate Hanson went 3-5 with a run and an RBI. The Winnipeg offense was led by Mason Katz, who was 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI.
Ryan Zimmerman (3-1, 3.51) looks to rebound tomorrow. He will be opposed by Mikey O’Brien (3-2, 4.43). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05.
By Robert Pannier