OMAHA, NE (July 23, 2021) - For five straight games the St. Paul Saints found late inning heroics. The magic ran out in game six. They sent the go ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning, but fell short to the Omaha Storm Chasers, 5-3 at Werner Park.
OMAHA, NE (July 23, 2021) - For five straight games the St. Paul Saints found late inning heroics. The magic ran out in game six. They sent the go ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning, but fell short to the Omaha Storm Chasers, 5-3 at Werner Park. The loss snaps the Saints five game winning streak and drops them to 36-33.
With the Saints down 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth the Storm Chasers added a pair of insurance runs. Kyle Isbel led off with a double to left. Lucius Fox’ sacrifice bunt was mishandled by catcher David Bañuelos and the error put runners at the corners. Sebastian Rivero’s RBI double to right made it 4-2. The next hitter, Anderson Miller, made it 5-2 with an RBI single to right.
The Saints mounted a comeback in the ninth as Drew Maggi and Sherman Johnson walked with one out. Damek Tomscha’s infield single loaded the bases. JT Riddle cut the deficit to two with a sacrifice fly, but on a 3-2 pitch to Keon Broxton he struck out to end the game.
The night was a battle of two of the top pitchers in Triple-A East, Charlie Barnes for the Saints and Jackson Kowar of the Storm Chasers. Barnes, making his first start since his superb outing in his Major League debut, struggled in the first. With one out, Bobby Witt Jr. singled to right. Nick Pratto worked a walk putting runners at first and second. With two outs Kyle Isbel walked to load the bases. Lucius Fox reached on an infield single to third scoring Witt Jr. putting the Storm Chasers up 1-0.
The Storm Chasers added to their lead in the third when Witt Jr. led off with a single to left. Nick Pratto followed with a two-run homer to straightaway center, his first in Triple-A, making it 3-0 Storm Chasers. Barnes went 4.2 innings allowing three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out three.
Meanwhile, Kowar, the number 66 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball, was dominant retiring the first 11 men he faced. With two outs in the fourth, Maggi broke up the perfect game with a double down the third base line. Johnson would strike out to end the inning.
The Saints finally got to Kowar in the fifth. Tomscha led off with a single to center. With one out Broxton deposited a two-run homer over the right field wall, his seventh of the season, cutting the deficit to 3-2. It was as close as the Saints got all night, losing for their first time in the last six games.
The same two teams meet in the fifth game of the six-game series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Andrew Albers (4-3, 4.70) to the mound against Storm Chasers LHP Marcelo Martinez (1-3, 6.04). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.