FARGO, ND (June 25, 2014) – A week’s worth of frustration finally boiled over for the St. Paul Saints and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks just happened to be the team in their way when it occured. A stellar relief appearance by Ben Hughes and a seven run eighth inning snapped a season high six game losing streak as the Saints won 13-5 on Wednesday night at Newman Outdoor Field.
The Saints jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning as they loaded the bases with two outs. Former Saints pitcher Danny Gutierrez then got a little wild hitting Brandon Tripp to force in the first run and walking Joey Becker to make it 2-0. A passed ball by catcher Petey Paramore allowed Willie Cabrera to score making it 3-0.
The lead didn’t stand for long as Saints starter R.J. Seidel recorded the first two outs in the third. He then walked the next three hitters which brought up C.J. Retherford who crushed a grand slam over the left field wall, his fifth of the season, to give the Red Hawks a 4-3 lead.
The Saints offense came roaring back in the fourth as Jake Taylor doubled down the left field line, his second of the night. Evan Bigley drove him home with a single to tie it at four. With two outs and Henry Wrigley at first, a wild pitch moved him to second and he scored on a double by Angelo Songco to make it 5-4.
Hughes relieved Seidel in the fourth and his lone mistake came in the fifth when he gave up a solo homer to Ronnie Bourquin, his sixth of the season, to tie the game at five. Hughes was spectacular otherwise going 4.0 innings allowing one run on three hits while walking one and striking out five to earn the win.
The Saints took a 6-5 lead in the sixth when Devin Thaut doubled, moved to third on a ground out and scored on Bigley’s ground out. Bigley finished the night 3-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
In the eighth the Saints put the game away with their highest scoring inning of the season as they put up a seven spot sending 13 men to the plate. Joey Becker led off with a single. Sam Maus laid down a sacrifice bunt and pitcher Coty Woods fielded the ball, but his throw to second pulled the shortstop off the bag allowing both runners to be safe. Thaut moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Taylor then hit a grounder to third, but Bourquin’s throw home was off line allowing Becker to score making it 7-5 Saints. Bigley made it 8-5 with an RBI single and a walk to Henry Wrigley loaded the bases. That’s when Songco unloaded them with a grand slam over the right field wall, his fifth of the season, giving the Saints a 12-5 lead. Songco finished the night 3-5 with a double, grand slam, five RBI and a run scored. The Saints would tack on one more run in the inning when Thaut walked with the bases loaded.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the four game series on Thursday night at 7:02 p.m. The Saints send LHP Cole Nelson (1-4, 4.94) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Brian Ernst (2-3, 6.82).