ST. PAUL, MN (August 1, 2013) – As the calendar turns to the final month of the season the St. Paul Saints realize every game is important in their quest to reach the playoffs. Each player will need to step up in their own way and on Thursday night at Midway Stadium starting pitcher Billy Soule did just that as the Saints came from behind to defeat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 3-2 in front of 5,274.
Soule, who was a closer at the University of Minnesota during his four year career, has started his last three ballgames and been magnificent. He started off with a shaky first inning giving up a leadoff triple to Zach Penprase and then Ronnie Bourquin followed with an RBI single to give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead. Nic Jackson singled Bourquin to third and C.J. Retherford’s RBI single made it 2-0. Soule failed to get an out after the first four hitters, but then he got into a groove. A double play ground out off the bat of Keith Brackhold and a fly out by Tim Alberts ended the inning. Soule gave up four hits in the first inning and allowed just three over the next six innings of work.
In innings two through seven Soule didn’t allow a runner past first base and faced one over the minimum during those six innings. He went a career high 7.0 innings allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out three in picking up his second win of the season.
The Saints offense struck in the second inning when Brandon Tripp walked, moved to second on Ole Sheldon’s single and scored on a single by Jose Hernandez to make it 2-1.
It stayed that way until the seventh when Trevor Hairgrove led off with a single to left. After Adam Frost walked, RedHawks starter Alex Caldera was relieved by the pitcher of the month in July, Joe Harris. Joey Becker reached on a fielder’s choice with Frost being retired at second. Brad Boyer doubled down the third base line scoring Hairgrove to tie the game at two. After Willie Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases, Tripp’s sacrifice fly gave the Saints a 3-2 lead.
That would be enough for the Saints bullpen as Bryan Henry pitched a perfect eighth inning and Matt Meyer closed out the game for his 14th save of the season.
The Saints are now within 3.5 games of the Gary SouthShore Railcats in the Wild Card and will begin a three game series with the Railcats on Friday evening at U.S. Steel Yard at 7:40 p.m. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (7-3, 3.89) to the mound against Railcats RHP Osvaldo Rodriguez (1-1, 5.84).