FARGO, ND (June 29, 2012) – With the stunning 6-5 loss from Wednesday night, when the St. Paul Saints blew a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth to the Wichita Wingnuts, still fresh in their minds the Saints took out their frustration on another team. Trailing 5-3 going into the top of the ninth the Saints scored four runs and came from behind to win 7-5 at Newman Outdoor Field snapping their four game losing streak and ending the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks winning streak at six.
With the Saints down by two in the top of the ninth Benji Johnson led off with a single to left. Jon Townsend was hit by a pitch and Adam Frost walked to load the bases. Jose Hernandez then worked a nine pitch at bat and blooped a single into center that scored Johnson, but as Nic Jackson went to field it the ball rolled under his glove allowing Jon Townsend and Frost to score and sending Hernandez to third as the Saints took a 6-5 lead. Hernandez became the first Saints player this season to collect four hits and finished 4-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Jim Rapoport followed with an RBI double to give the Saints a two run lead.
In the bottom of the ninth the RedHawks got the lead off man on when left-hand hitting Jon Gaston doubled off of lefty Kyle Carr. George Tsamis then called upon University of Minnesota product and rookie Dustin Klabunde. He proved up to the challenge getting a foul out, a fielder’s choice ground out and, after a walk, struck out Carlo Cota to end the game. Klabunde picked up his second save of the season.
With the Saints leading 2-1 in the fifth the RedHawks took their first lead of the night. With one out Jackson singled and Ryan Delgado doubled him to third. After an intentional walk to Gaston loaded the bases Ryan Stovall walked to force in a run and tie the game at two. A fielder’s choice ground out by Marcos Rodriguez scored a run to make it 3-2 RedHawks.
In the sixth the RedHawks put up two more runs when Cota doubled, moved to third on a sac bunt and scored on a wild pitch. Sergio Pedroza then hit a solo homer, his fifth of the season, to make it 5-2.
Ole Sheldon, who had gone seven straight games without an RBI, hit a solo homer in the eighth to cut the deficit to 5-3, his ninth homer of the season and 49th of his Saints career, leaving him six shy of breaking David Kennedy’s franchise record of 54. He now has 26 RBI this season and 200 in his Saints career leaving him 15 shy of breaking Brent Krause’s franchise record of 214.
The same two teams meet Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. in game two of the three game series. The Saints will send RHP Todd Mathison (0-0, 3.38) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Aaron Shafer (2-4, 6.43).