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Strong Defense, Late Inning Hitting Key to Saints in 6-1 Win

05/23/2015 10:56 PM -

ST. PAUL, MN (May 23, 2015) – The highlight reel plays are turning rather commonplace for the St. Paul Saints.  On Saturday night they made five spectacular plays, none better than the one by outfielder Willie Argo.  In the end the Saints won for the third straight time to start the season, 6-1, at CHS Field against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in front of 7,850.

 

In the first inning Argo made a play for the ages.  Stefan Gartrell appeared to crush a ball to left-center.  Argo raced back towards the warning track, but the ball didn’t carry.  Argo put on the breaks, fell forward onto the grass, and while on his stomach stuck his glove up and made the catch.  He immediately fired the ball back towards the infield and doubled up the runner at first.

 

Both starters cruised through the first five innings before Saints starter, Kramer Sneed, had the only blip of his evening in the sixth.  With one out Sneed hit Frank Salerno, who stole second and advanced to third on a single by Zach Penprase.  With two outs Joe Dunnigan singled home Salerno to give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead.  Sneed went 6.0 innings allowing one run on three hits while walking two and striking out three.

 

The Saints wasted little time taking the lead as the RedHawks made two errors on one play.  After back-to-back walks to Argo and Ian Gac, Austin Kirk’s defense let him down.  Mike Kvasnicka laid down a sacrifice bunt towards third.  Brent Peterson’s throw to first went into right field allowing Argo to score.  With the ball rolling into right field Dunnigan bobbled it which allowed Gac to score giving the Saints a 2-1 lead.  Kirk left the game for reliever Ty Kelley.  The first batter Kelley faced, Steve Nikorak, hit a two-run homer to left, his first of the season, giving the Saints a 4-1 lead.

 

The Saints tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth when Michael Antonio doubled with two outs.  Vinny DiFazio’s RBI single made it 5-1.  DiFazio advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Nikorak.  He finished the night 2-4 with a double, home run, three RBI and a run scored. 

 

The Saints bullpen was solid as Dylan Chavez, Ryan Rodebaugh and Alex Sogard tossed 3.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while striking out three.

 

The finale of the four game series is Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Jeff Shields (NR) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Ryan Blough (NR).



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