ST. PAUL, MN (June 25, 2013) – The St. Paul Saints bullpen stepped up in a big way on Tuesday night at Midway Stadium. In a tight ballgame University of Minnesota graduate Billy Soule was brilliant and Matt Meyer closed it out as the Saints defeated the Lincoln Saltdogs 6-4 in front of 4,668.
With the Saints leading 5-4 in the sixth inning starter Wes Roemer gave up a one out single to Daniel Carroll. After 95 pitches Roemer was relieved by Soule. In his first three appearances with the Saints Soule had given up nine runs, but he looked like the dominant Gopher pitcher on Tuesday. A wild pitch allowed Carroll to take second and Soule got Stephen Douglas to ground out which sent Carroll to third. After a walk to David Espinosa put runners at the corners, Soule got Matt Forgatch to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Soule would pitch 2.0 more innings, both of them perfect and would go 2.2 hitless innings allowing one walk and three strikeouts.
In the ninth with the Saints up by two Matt Meyer was brought on to close the game. In his last two save appearances Meyer had blown both chances to the Gary SouthShore Railcats. He would not give up the lead against the Saltdogs leaving little to chance as he set them down in order to pick up his eighth save of the season.
The two teams traded four run innings with the Saints scoring theirs in the bottom of the first. With one out and Joey Becker at first, Brad Boyer hit a grounder to second that looked like a double play, but went under the glove through the legs of Espinosa for an error putting runners at second and third. With two outs Brandon Tripp walked to load the bases. Ole Sheldon then hit a slow tapper to third that Mike Provencher charged, but his throw to first went awry allowing all three runs to score. Sheldon picked up a single and an RBI with the other two runs scoring on the error. Jose Hernandez made it 4-0 with an RBI single.
The lead lasted until the third when the Saltdogs blooped their way to four runs. Sean O’Connell led off with a single to center and advanced to second when Hernandez bobbled the ball in center. Roemer retired the next two hitters, but five straight soft base hits scored four runs as RBI singles from Douglas, Forgatch, Tyler Goodro and Brian Embery tied the game.
The Saints took a 5-4 lead in the fifth when Adam Frost led off with a double. He moved to third on a single by Becker and scored when Boyer hit into a fielder’s choice.
The Saints added an insurance run in the eighth when Cabrera led off with a double and scored on Hernandez’ single.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Luke Anderson (1-2, 5.82) to the mound against Saltdogs LHP Moises Melendez (2-0, 3.12). On the 238th anniversary of its founding, Help Us Save the USPS with the Power of a Smile! Presented by Delta Dental.