The St. Paul Saints are going to the American Association Championship Series for the first time since 2011 after beating the Gary SouthShore RailCats 1-0 on Saturday night to win the series 3-1. They will face either the Kansas City T-Bones or Sioux City Explorers, who play next week.
The Saints broke a 0-0 deadlock in the fifth inning when Kyle Barrett reached first base on catcher’s interference. He stole second while Burt Reynolds was batting and scored when Reynolds singled to center field. It looked like the Saints would score another run in the inning, as Brady Shoemaker singled to center field to move Reynolds to third, but Zach Walters ended the inning with a strikeout.
The RailCats never had a threat the rest of the game, as they scattered two hits in the final three innings but were unable to push across a run. They entered the bottom of the ninth inning against Saints closer Zack Jones.
Jones struck out Tillman Pugh, coaxed a groundout by Colin Willis and struck out Andy Paz to end the game and send the Saints to the championship series.
It was a pitcher’s duel through the first half of the game, as RailCats starter Adam Wright went four innings allowing just three hits and no runs. Unfortunately for the RailCats, Saints starter Trevor Foss was just as good, also holding Gary to no runs.
The American Association League Championship Series will begin Tuesday at CHS Field. The Saints will have to wait for the South Division series to conclude to find out who their opponent will be. The Saints have yet to announce who will pitch the first game, or what their rotation will look like for the series.