Top of the Order, Bullen Help Saints Squeak by Goldeyes, 7-6
With one game separating the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the St. Paul Saints, Sunday afternoon’s game had a playoff atmosphere. The game did not disappoint, as the Saints jumped out to a 6-2 lead before Winnipeg tied it up. St. Paul would retake the lead in the sixth and go on to win 7-6. The top of the St. Paul order combined for 8-hits and the team’s bullpen threw four perfect innings in the victory.
The Saints grabbed the lead in the top of the first against Winnipeg starter Edwin Carl. Danny Oh and Brady Burzynski led the game off with back-to-back singles. Carl retired the next batter, but Brady Shoemaker doubled to score Oh and put St. Paul on top. Next up was the red-hot Anthony Gallas, who singled into left field, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Burzynski scored on the play with Shoemaker moving to third, and he scored on a base hit by Tony Thomas. That extended the Saints lead to three.
Winnipeg cut the deficit to one in the bottom half the inning, Jason Creasy started for St. Paul and Josh Romanski greeted him with a double with one out to get the rally going. He moved to third on a fly ball before Reggie Abercrombie walked to put runners at the corners with two down. Shawn Pleffner lined a single into center field that brought Romanski home, and Abercrombie scored on a base hit by David Rohm. That made the score 3-2.
It would stay that way until the top of the third, when the St. Paul Saints would put three more runs on the board. Shoemaker led the inning off with his second double of the game before Gallas walked. Two batters later, Tim Colwell grounded out to first, but David Bergin made an error allowing Shoemaker to score. Max Garrett followed with a base hit up the middle that brought home both Gallas and Colwell and the Saints lead was now four.
Following the two runs in the first, Creasy was breezing. He retired the Goldeyes in order in the second, third, and fourth innings but, in the fifth, Winnipeg would tie the game. Alixon Suarez was hit by a pitch with one down and moved to second on a base hit by Andrew Sohn. Romanski walked to load the bases, and Bergin followed with a double into center field that scored both Suarez and Sohn. Down by two, Abercrombie doubled into center himself as both runners scored to tie the game.
In the top of the sixth the Saints responded right away. With Mitchell Lambson now on the hill for Winnipeg, Burzynski singled to start the frame, and Nate Hanson doubled to move Burzynski to third. Shoemaker was hit by a pitch to load the bases and, two batters later, Thomas delivered a sacrifice fly to score Burzynski and put the Saints back on top.
Vinny Nittoli came on in the sixth for St. Paul and tossed two perfect innings. Caleb Thielbar tossed a perfect eighth, and the Saints turned to closer Seth Rosin in the ninth. He retired Winnipeg in order for his sixth save of the season. In all, the St. Paul Saints bullpen retired all 12 batters they faced.
The top of the order for St. Paul proved to be too much for Winnipeg on this day. Danny Oh was 2-6 with a run scored. Brady Burzynski finished the afternoon 2-5 with 2-runs scored, and Nate Hanson was 2-5. Brady Shoemaker was 2-4 with 2-runs, 2-doubles, and an RBI. The Winnipeg Goldeyes got two-RBI from both David Bergin and Reggie Abercrombie.
The St. Paul Saints move on to Sioux Falls tomorrow where they will take on the Canaries. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00.
By Robert Pannier