Sunday, November 28, 2021

Saints collapse in Omaha during 10-innings series finale

There was no shortage of St. Paul Saints fans who feared runs were hard to come by until Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Omaha Storm chasers, following the Saints’ 21-4 win at CHS Field on Saturday night.

That proved to be the case, with the Saints narrowing down the Omaha Storm chasers to six hits in a 3-2, 10-innings defeat.

If Saints manager Toby Gardenhauer had any such concerns from the start of the day, he didn’t own them after the game.

“I honestly think it’s just random,” Gardenhauer said. “When teams are swinging the bat well, they usually put a good bat together. And we did. We had some good batsmen; He did well today.

“From one day to the next you never know what’s going to happen. It’s never the same.”

The Saints went 2–1 in the seventh inning, while their lone run came in second at home run by Jimmy Kerrigan. After a pair of strikeouts, Drew Magee turned on a fastball and sent it over the fence to the left for his 16th home run of the season.

The Storm Chasers proved the winning run in the 10th when a bloop down the right-field line produced the designated runner from third.

The Saints had scored a tying run on third with one in 10th, but Tomas Tellis was retired on a sharp ground ball on the pitcher before being dismissed to end the game by Gilberto Celestino.

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“We didn’t mind going (today),” Gardenhauer said. “His lefty (Omaha starting pitcher Jake Kalish) did very well against us, and that reliever (Dylan Coleman) in the end was really good.”

Coleman pitched the final two innings, in which he recorded four out of six coming on strikeouts.

Kalish started against the Saints in the first game of the series and conceded five runs in five innings of work.

While Gardenhauer joked after Saturday’s game that the Saints didn’t need their best hitter, Jose Miranda, who was discharged, apparently could have used him on Sunday. Miranda, who leads the team with a batting average of .331, missed out on his second straight game.

“He was very upset that day, so I told him I would give him a day off (Saturday),” Gardenhauer said. “After the win on Saturday I thought it would be a good day to give him a day off on Sunday because we have a day off on Monday.

“He’ll be ready to go back on Tuesday.”

The Saints play six games in Indianapolis this week before returning for the final five home games of the regular season.

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