WICHITA, KS (June 26, 2012) – If the St. Paul Saints wanted to use the series against the Wichita Wingnuts, the team with the best record in the American Association, as a litmus test then the first game is not how they want to be measured. The Wingnuts scored early and often and the Saints managed just five hits losing 10-1 on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Saints entered play as the lowest scoring team in the American Association while the Wingnuts were the second highest, separated by 84 runs going into Tuesday night’s game. The differential was evident as the Wingnuts scored in each inning they had a runner in scoring position. In the second the Wingnuts took a 3-0 lead and the league leader in homers, C.J. Ziegler got it started with a solo homer to center, his 12th of the season and first of the night. Back-to-back singles by David Peralta and Justin Tellam put runners at the corners. Jared McDonald made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly and three batters with the bases loaded Jake Kahaulelio walked to force in a run.
The Saints didn’t back down early and got on the board in the third when Jose Hernandez doubled and two ground outs later he scored to make it 3-1. That would be the only time the Saints scored.
In the bottom of the third Juan Richardson reached on an infield single and advanced to second on the throwing error by shortstop Adam Frost. Richardson moved to third on a ground out. Peralta then hit a pop up in foul territory and first baseman Ronnie Bourquin went towards the stands and had the ball pop in and out of his glove. That gave Peralta another opportunity and he utilized it by singling home Richardson to make it 4-1.
In the fifth Ziegler came calling again with a two-run homer, his second of the night and 13th of the season, to put the Wingnuts up 6-1.
Wingnuts starter Josh Lowey retired 11 in a row at one point from the Hernandez double in the third until a two out double by Jim Rapoport in the sixth. The only other time the Saints had a chance to score came in the seventh when Shane Costa and Ole Sheldon led off with back-to-back singles, but Ronnie Bourquin grounded into a fielder’s choice and Tanner Townsend grounded into an inning ending double play. Lowey went a season high 8.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out three and improved to 7-0. The five hits by the Saints came on the heels of their four hits on Sunday afternoon when they were shutout.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints are TBA and the Wingnuts send RHP Derek Blacksher (4-1, 4.03).