FARGO, ND (July 25, 2013) – Mark Hamburger was cruising through eight innings and was on the verge of another complete game victory. Then the wheels came off of the St. Paul Saints defense in the ninth and three unearned runs scored, including a walk-off two run homer by Buddy Sosnoskie as the Saints lost 5-3 on Thursday afternoon to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, who won their 1,000th game in franchise history, at Newman Outdoor Field.
In the ninth inning C.J. Retherford started off by hitting a grounder to shortstop Trevor Hairgrove, but the ball glanced off Hairgrove’s glove and went between his legs for an error. With one out Tim Alberts singled to left. Willie Cabrera’s throw to third went wide of both the cutoff man and third baseman Joey Becker allowing both runners to move up on the throwing error. With the infield playing in Mitch Einertson hit a weak grounder to third that Becker fielded, but his only play was to first as the tying run scored. That brought up Sosnoskie, who the night before grounded out to end the game with the tying run in scoring position. With the count 2-1, he fouled off three straight pitches and then on the seventh pitch of the at bat drove one over the right field wall for the walk-off two-run homer. Hamburger was credited with the complete game loss going 8.2 innings allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out five.
It was a pitcher’s duel all afternoon long as Hamburger went up against Taylor Stanton, who had the second best ERA in the American Association. The Saints got to Stanton in the first as Dan Kaczrowski walked. Joey Becker singled him to second and with two outs and Kaczrowski at third, Cabrera doubled him home to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first Hamburger made his only mistake until the ninth. Ronnie Bourquin doubled with one out and with two outs Retherford hit a two-run homer to right, his sixth of the season, to give the RedHawks a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth the Saints took the lead when Cabrera led off with a single and Brandon Tripp knocked him home with an RBI double to tie the game at two. With two outs Dwight Childs singled to center scoring Tripp to give the Saints a 3-2 lead.
The Saints had a chance to add to their lead in the seventh when Childs led off with a double and moved to third when Hairgrove reached on an error by Zach Penprease at short. Stanton left the game for reliever Nathan Kilcrease. He got Kaczrowski to foul out to first and Becker to ground into an inning ending double play. Stanton went 6.0 innings allowing three runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out four.
The Saints head home and take on the Gary SouthShore Railcats in a three game series beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Drew Gay (1-1, 4.15) to the mound against Railcats LHP James Adkins (0-2, 4.95). It is Take Me To Regions Night presented by Regions Hospital.