Tony Caldwell Helps to Propel St. Paul Saints to 5-3 Victory
It had not looked like a good night for Tony Caldwell. The St. Paul Saints designated hitter had struck out in each of his first three plate appearances, but when the team needed him to come through he did just that, doubling in two-runs to put the Saints on top and they would win 5-3. That gave the Saints the series victory against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and maintained their seven-game lead over the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
This was a great pitchers’ duel for much of the night as Robert Coe and Taylor Stanton both looked impressive for much of their time on the mound. The two kept the game scoreless in the first, but the RedHawks grabbed the lead in the second.
Josh Mazzola led off the inning with a double and Brian Humphries followed with a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and Mazzola scored on a single by Charlie Valerio to make it 1-0.
The Saints seemed to have no answers for Stanton through the first three frames, but Willie Argo changed that in the fourth. Trever Adams led off by drawing a walk and Argo followed with his eighth homerun of the season over the left field wall. That gave the Saints the 2-1 lead and had CHS Field rocking.
In the sixth, Fargo-Moorhead took back the lead. Mazzola walked with one out and scored on a double by Dustin Geiger. With two outs, Valerio was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second. Former Saint Mike Gilmartin then drilled a single into right field that scored Geiger and the RedHawks were back on top.
The Saints had struggled to generate any kind of attack following the Argo homerun. They had put two on two outs in the seventh, but came away empty-handed. It looked like the RedHawks were going to take the series, but that all changed in the eighth.
Will Mathis took over for Stanton, and he retired the first batter of the inning, but Roman Madrid then came in. He walked Adams and Argo to put two on with just one out. Brett Zawacki then came on looking to end the rally, but he had no answers. Caldwell took a 2-2 pitch and drilled it to right-center field wall, scoring both runners and putting the Saints up 4-3. Next up was Aaron Gretz, who blooped a single into right, scoring Caldwell and extending the lead to two.
Ryan Rodebaugh came on in the ninth. He retired Fargo-Moorhead in order for his 20th save of the season. Caleb Thielbar (4-1) had pitched two shutout innings in relief of Coe and earned the win.
Argo finished 2-3, with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Adams scored 2-runs despite not having a hit, and Breland Almadova, Tony Thomas and Gretz each had 2-hits. Mazzola was 1-3 with 2-runs scored in a losing effort.
The Saints will have tomorrow off before heading to Gary for a three-game series. John Straka (9-3, 4.80) will start Monday night’s game. Game time is 7:10.
By Robert Pannier