ST. PAUL, MN (July 29, 2012) – Perhaps there is something special about this season’s version of the St. Paul Saints. With the Saints trailing by a run in the bottom of the 10th inning the heart of the order flexed their muscles. Ole Sheldon, tying solo homer, and Jose Hernandez, a walk-off two-run homer, helped complete the sweep of the Quebec les Capitales 6-4 at Midway Stadium in front of 4,887 on Sunday afternoon. The win was the fifth in a row for the Saints.
After 2.1 innings of perfect relief by les Capitales reliever Guillaume Duguay the Saints finally got to him in the 10th. With the Saints trailing 4-3 going into the bottom of the 10th Sheldon hit the second pitch of the inning over the left field wall, his league leading 16th of the season, tying the game at four. Ronnie Bourquin followed with a walk bringing Jose Hernandez to the plate. After two failed sacrifice bunt attempts, Hernandez hit an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall, his ninth of the season, that sent the Saints into a jubilant celebration at home plate. The last walk-off homer by a Saints player was by Flint Wipke on June 29, 2010.
The Saints were on their way to a victory in nine innings, but les Capitales battled over the final two innings. With the Saints up 3-1 in the eighth Jonathan Malo led off with a single. Sebastian Boucher sacrificed him to second and Rene Leveret knocked him home with a single to make it 3-2. Saints starter Kyle Ruwe, for the second straight start since joining the team, was impressive. He went 8.0 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out four. For the second straight start, however, the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
In the ninth left-handed reliever Kyle Carr faced lefty Robert Wagner who would walk. Carr left the game for closer Dustin Klabunde. He faced pinch hitter Rony Rodriguez who doubled down the left field line putting runners at second and third. On the first pitch to Josh Colafemina the ball went to the backstop, but ricocheted to catcher Benji Johnson who flipped to Klabunde covering the plate and tagged out Wagner. Colafemina, however, doubled home the tying run.
In the 10th Reid Mahon came out of the bullpen for the Saints and gave up a leadoff single to Boucher. Levert singled him to third, but Mahon got a strike out of Josue Peley. Steve Brown was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wagner added a sacrifice fly to give les Capitales a 4-3 lead.
The Saints managed to score against one of the best pitchers from the Can Am League, Karl Gelinas. In the midst of his 11 strike outs the Saints put up two runs in the fourth inning. Sheldon led off with a double and Bourquin doubled him home to tie the game at one. Sheldon finished the game 3-5 with a double, homer, RBI and two runs scored. Hernandez followed that with an RBI single to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. Hernandez finished the day 3-5 with a homer, three RBI and a run scored.
The Saints added to their lead in the seventh when Jake Krause singled, moved to second on an Adam Frost single and scored on Bourquin’s single.
The Saints welcome in the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to Midway Stadium for the first game of a four game series on Monday evening at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (5-2, 6.38) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Tyler Herron (6-3, 4.19). It is Good Eggs and Scams presented by the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.