ST. PAUL, MN (August 14, 2012) – For eight innings the St. Paul Saints pitching staff was nearly unhittable. Unfortunately, in the ninth it all fell apart as the Saints squandered a 2-0 lead with the Gary SouthShore Railcats scoring five in the ninth and the Saints lost 5-2 on Tuesday afternoon at Midway Stadium in front of 6,307.
With the Saints carrying a 2-0 lead into the top of the ninth and the Railcats managing just four hits up to that point Nick Carr started the inning on the mound for the Saints. He walked Craig Maddox, who was pinch run for with Eric Suttle, gave up a single to Brian Kolb and an RBI single to Trevor Willis to make it 2-1. Carr left the game for Dustin Klabunde. The first batter he faced was pinch hitter Chris Carrara, who tried a sacrifice bunt with runners at first and second and nobody out, but popped the ball up in foul territory that was caught by catcher Alex Garabedian for the first out of the inning. David Cooper followed with a walk to load the bases. Klabunde unleashed a wild pitch allowing Kolb to score the tying run. Klabunde then intentionally walked Adam Klein, but Zach Mitchell followed with an RBI single to make it 3-2. On the play Cooper was thrown out after slipping rounding third. That put runners at second and third with two outs and Mike Massaro was intentionally walked. Ryan Babineau finished the scoring with a two-run single. The runs in the ninth snapped a string of 22.1 innings of consecutive scoreless innings for the bullpen.
The disastrous ninth ruined a phenomenal day by Saints starting pitcher Robert Coe. Working on three days rest for the third time this season Coe was superb once again. He allowed just three hits in 7.0 innings of work and allowed just three runners to reach second base. He walked two and struck out five on the afternoon.
The Saints ran into one of the best pitchers in the league in Stephen Hiscock and managed to jump on him in the fourth inning. Willie Cabrera led off with a single and moved to second on a single by Ole Sheldon. Jose Hernandez doubled home Cabrera to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. After Ronnie Bourquin hit a grounder to third in which Sheldon was thrown out at the plate, Jon Townsend made it 2-0 with an RBI single. Hiscock would go 7.0 innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking three and striking out two.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Wednesday evening at 7:05 p.m. at Midway Stadium. The Saints are TBA while the Railcats send RHP Alberto Rolon (3-4, 7.56). It is Where’s Wally? A nod to Wally the Beer Man and other great vendors presented by Walser Automotive Group.