POMONA, NY (June 6, 2013) – Cole Nelson did the job on the mound, Craig Brazell came through at the plate and Brandon Tripp made the deke of the game in rightfield as the St. Paul Saints blanked the Rockland Boulders in the final game of their 10 game roadtrip at Provident Bank Park on Thursday night. They finished the roadtrip 4-6.
The first inning has been a rewarding one for the Saints this season averaging more than a run per game in the opening frame. They did it again on Thursday as Dan Kaczrowski led off the game with a double down the third base line. Joey Becker followed with a single to center moving Kaczrowski to third. Brad Boyer’s RBI ground out gave the Saints a 1-0 lead. Craig Brazell then drove home Becker with a double to left-center giving the Saints a 2-0 lead.
That was all Nelson and the Saints bullpen would need as Nelson cruised through the first four innings without allowing a hit. In the fifth Johnny Welch got the first hit of the game for the Boulders with a single to right. Nick DelGuidice followed with an infield single to put runners at first and second. After a sacrifice by Scott Knazek put runners at second and third, Nelson settled down getting Donnie Webb to strike out and ending the inning on a line out by Steve Nyisztor.
In the seventh the Saints extended their lead when Becker collected his third hit of the game, a one out single to center. With two outs and Becker at second the Boulders elected to pitch to the left-hand hitting Brazell with the lefty Nick Serino on the mound. Brazell made them pay with an RBI double to right-center. It was Brazell’s third double of the game tying a franchise record done by 15 other Saints, the last time it happened was on August 9, 2010 when Richard Mercado completed the feat.
Nelson pitched into the seventh and gave up a one out single to Welch and walked Knazek with two outs. Webb then hit a pop up on the infield, but catcher Mark Radmacher dropped it to load the bases. Nelson left the game for Mikey Mehlich who retired Steve Nyisztor on the first pitch to end the inning. Nelson went 6.2 shutout innings allowing three hits while walking three and striking out three.
In the eighth Mehlich ran into trouble, but got a huge play from his right fielder Brandon Tripp. Jerod Edmondson led off with a walk. His brother Chris then hit a fly ball to right that Brandon Tripp faked like he was going to catch as he charged in, but the ball fell in front of him. Jerod bought the fake and headed back to first allowing Tripp to throw him out at second. It proved to be a huge play as Steve Cardullo and Billy Alvino singled to load the bases. Mehlich got Welch to strike out and DelGuidice to end the inning with a fielder’s choice ground out. Mehlich went 1.1 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out one. Matt Meyer pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season.
The Saints struck out a season high 14 times with Brandon Tripp and Radmacher each going 0-4 with four strikeouts.
The Saints return home for a six game homestand beginning with a three game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. with the Wichita Wingnuts. The Saints send RHP Wes Roemer (2-2, 4.03) to the mound against Boulders RHP Chris Smith (2-1, 4.01). It is Law Enforcement Appreciation Night on National Donut Day.