ST. PAUL, MN (September 1, 2023) - The St. Paul Saints are cramming a season’s worth of extra-inning games into one week. For the third time in four games against the Columbus Clippers, the two teams needed more than nine innings to decide the game. For just the second time
_ST. PAUL, MN _*(September 1, 2023) - *The St. Paul Saints are cramming a season’s worth of extra-inning games into one week. For the third time in four games against the Columbus Clippers, the two teams needed more than nine innings to decide the game. For just the second time in nine extra inning games the Saints came up short, losing 8-5 on Friday night at CHS Field in front of 6,089.
With the Saints leading 5-2 in the eighth the Clippers scored three off reliever Jordan Balazovic. Kyle Manzardo led off with a single to center and Johnathan Rodriguez followed with a walk. Jhonkensy Noel made it 5-3 with an RBI double down the first base line. Two wild pitches later and the Clippers tied the game at five.
Hunter McMahon, who was called up from Double-A Wichita on Thursday, made his Triple-A debut. With the bullpen short on arms, McMahon was the last pitcher available on the night and nearly played the role of hero. He pitched around a one out walk in the ninth without giving up a run. In the 10th with the placed runner at second, McMahon got a strikeout, flyout, and strikeout to put up another zero.
The Saints, however, couldn’t capitalize in the bottom of the 10th. With one out, the placed runner, Trevor Larnach, advanced to third on a groundout. After an intentional walk to Hernán Pérez, Jair Camargo grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
In the 11th the placed runner, Daniel Schneeman, was sacrificed over by Raynel Delgado. Brayan Rocchio’s sacrifice fly gave the Clippers a 6-5 lead. With McMahon running out of steam, Angel Martinez singled to right-center and Kyle Manzardo made it 7-5 with an RBI double that chased McMahon from the game. The Saints had no other available arms and had to use catcher Tony Wolters. He gave up an RBI double to Jhonathan Rodriguez that put the Clippers up 8-5.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when DaShawn Keirsey Jr. singled to right-center, stole second, advanced to third on the throwing error by catcher Bryan Lavastida, and scored on a single from Larnach.
The Clippers tied the game in the second on a solo homer by Noel, his 22nd of the season.
The bottom of the order grabbed the lead back for the Saints in the second. With one out Yunior Severino singled to left and that was followed by a double from Pérez that put runners at second and third. After a walk to Camargo loaded the bases, Gilberto Celestino doubled home a pair giving the Saints a 3-1 lead.
For the seventh time this season the Saints hit back-to-back home runs. Larnach led off the inning with a solo homer to left and Kyle Garlick followed with a solo blast to center, both home runs were the 12th of the season, putting the Saints up 5-1. The Saints managed just three more hits after the third inning.
The Clippers got a run in the fourth without collecting a hit. With one out, Noel was hit by a pitch and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. With two outs Simeon Woods Richardson and Delgado were locked in a nine-pitch battle that produced a full count. Before the 10th pitch, a pitch clock violation was called on Woods Richardson that resulted in ball four, forcing in a run cutting the Saints lead to 5-2. Woods Richardson went 5.0 innings allowing two runs on three hits while walking three and striking out six.
The same two teams meet in game five of a six-game series on Saturday night at CHS Field at 7:07 p.m. The Saints send RHP Randy Dobnak (4-7, 4.95) to the mound against Clippers LHP Joey Cantillo (4-3, 4.82). The game can be seen on the CW Network, the Bally Live app (free), and MiLB.TV (subscription), and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.