ST. PAUL, MN (August 11, 2012) – Jose Hernandez was in familiar territory in the bottom of the 10th with the bases loaded and nobody out. Twice this season he’s come through with a walk off base hit and on Saturday night he did it again as the St. Paul Saints defeated the Amarillo Sox 4-3 at Midway Stadium in front of 5,839.
With the game tied at three in the bottom of the 10th Willie Cabrera led off with a single. Adam Frost replaced him as a pinch runner and Ole Sheldon singled him to second. Ronnie Bourquin was asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but he worked a walk to load the bases. Pitcher Jack Spradlin was then tossed as was Sox manager John Harris. Wes Littleton came out of the bullpen to face Hernandez and on a two strike pitch Hernandez dumped one over the drawn in infield to score Frost for the game winner.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second when Bourquin walked and scored Hernandez knocked him home with a double. Hernandez finished the night 2-5 with a double and two RBI.
The Sox took a 2-1 lead in the third when Harrison Kain singled, stole second and Jake Luce walked. Saints pitcher Kyle Hurst balked moving the runners up and Garrett Rau’s sacrifice fly tied it at one. Adam Buschini singled home Luce to give the Sox the lead.
In the fifth Jake Krause led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Joe Spiers’ two out single tying the game at two.
The Sox regained the lead in the sixth when Buschini led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Patrick Arlis to make it 3-2 Sox.
In the bottom of the seventh the Saints tied it at three when Miles Durham singled to left, stole second, moved to third on Krause’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Alex Garabedian.
Both teams had chances in the ninth to win the game. The Sox loaded the bases with one out, but Saints pitcher Dustin Klabunde got a pop out and a fielder’s choice ground out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth the Saints also loaded the bases with one out, but a shallow fly out by Jim Rapoport and a fly out by Spiers left the bases full.
Saturday’s game was the 10th extra inning game for the Saints, all of them at home, and they are now 6-4 in extra inning contests.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Luke Anderson (4-1, 2.86) to the mound against Sox LHP Cliff Springston (0-3, 8.38). It is Half Pint Heroes Day with a pre-game blood drive presented by Memorial Blood Centers. Also the first 1,500 fans receive the 2012 St. Paul Saints Baseball Card Set presented by Spare Key and Impressions Printing.