St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis came into Monday night’s game just one win away from having 1,000 in his career, but he will have to wait at least another night before picking up the milestone win as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks beat the Saints 5-4 on a rainy night at CHS Field.
The game got started on time after the tarp was on the field for most of the afternoon. Vinny Nittoli got the start for the Saints and cruised through the first two innings without allowing a hit while facing the minimum amount of batters.
The wheels came off in the third, however. Joe DeLuca was hit by a pitch, advanced on a Yhoxian Medina single and scored on a two-run single from Devan Ahart to put the visitors up 2-0. The RedHawks would tack on one more run to take a 3-0 lead.
Fargo added another run in the fourth inning when Tommy Mendonca led off with a sharp double to the left field fence. He would score on a Colwell single to stretch the Fargo lead to 4-0.
St. Paul got a huge offensive boost in the bottom of the inning when Jayce Boyd stepped up to the plate with two runners on and delivered a home run over the bullpens in left field to cut the lead to just one run. Kes Carter tried to keep the inning going by drawing a walk, but his teammates were unable to finish the job, as a strikeout and pop out to first base quietly ended the inning.
The RedHawks tacked on another run in the top of the fifth inning. Neither team pushed across a run until the Saints scored in the eighth inning. The Saints rally started with Dante Bichette Jr. drawing a one-out walk. After Boyd flew out to right field, Carter hit a triple to dead center field to score Bichette and bring the Saints to within one run. Unfortunately for St. Paul they were unable to get anything else in the inning as Justin O’Conner struck out to end the inning.
The Saints came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning and almost cracked the code, but were snuffed out by the RedHawks. JJ Gould drew a leadoff walk, and after Josh Allen struck out, Max Murphy drew a walk to put the tying run at second base for Noah Perio Jr., who struck out for the second out of the inning. That left the Saints resting its hopes in the bat of Brady Shoemaker, who flew out to center field to end the game.
The two teams will play Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night. The Saints have not announced who they will send to the mound. The Redhawks will send Trey McNutt to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
- The Saints are now 0-2 this season when their opponents score five runs and are 3-1 when scoring four runs themselves. They are now 8-5 against North Division teams this season.
- After this homestand wraps up the Saints will take their first-ever trip to Impact Field in Rosemount, Ill. The field is the home of the newly-formed Chicago Dogs, who are on a little bit of a roll, going 4-6 in their last 10 games coming into Monday night.
- There was an interesting story from Minnesota making the rounds on social media on Monday, as Mounds View High School student Ty Koehn struck out childhood friend Jack Kocon to clinch a trip to the state tournament. Instead of celebrating with his teammates, Koehn ran to his longtime friend and embraced him. Koehn said after the game, “Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game. I had to make sure he knows that before we celebrated.” The Mustangs will now turn their attention to Suburban East Conference rivals Stillwater for their state tournament opener on Thursday at CHS Field.