GARY, IN (August 31, 2012) – A year ago it was the St. Paul Saints celebrating at U.S. Steel Yard as they beat the Gary SouthShore Railcats three out of four games, winning on the final day of the season to claim the Wild Card and knocking the Railcats from the playoffs. This season, while the Railcats were already elminitaed, they can take solace in the fact they have nearly knocked the Saints out of the playoffs. The Saints lost the final three games of the series, including 7-4 on Friday night, and are now 3.0 games back with three game remaining in the season.
With the Saints leading 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth Craig Maddox led off for the Railcats by hitting a fly ball to left that Adam Frost overran and Maddox reached second for a double. With one out, lefty Taylor Sinclair came into the ballgame to face the lefty Zac Mitchell. On a 1-2 pitch Sinclair hit Mitchell. Nick Carr took over for Sinclair and he walked Trevor Willis to load the bases. Chase Tucker’s infield single to short drove home a run to tie the game at four. David Cooper followed with a sacrifice fly giving the Railcats a 5-4 lead. After a walk to Adam Klein loaded the bases, Mike Massaro’s two-run single gave the Railcats a three run lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead getting a run in the first on an RBI double by Ole Sheldon and an RBI single from Jim Rapoport in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, however, the Railcats took their first lead of the night. Saints starter Anthony Claggett cruised through the first five innings, but in the sixth Massaro led off with an infield single and Brian Kolb singled him to third. Maddox followed with a three-run homer to right, his fifth of the season, to give the Railcats a 3-2 lead.
The Saints battled back tying the game in the seventh when Joe Spiers was hit by a pitch. Frost’s infield single put runners at first and second. With one out Sheldon hit a grounder to third that looked like a double play, but after getting the out at second, Tucker’s throw to first went awry and allowed Spiers to score the tying run.
The Saints took a 4-3 lead in the eighth when Tanner Townsend double, moved to third on a single by Rapoport and scored on a sacrifice fly from Spiers.
The Saints head home for the final three games of the regular season against the Wichita Wingnuts beginnings on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Luke Anderson (5-3, 3.46) against Wingnuts LHP Jeff Nadeau (0-1, 4.63). It is Bounty Night at the Ballpark with the Saints donating money to concussion research for every hit they collect.