The Saints started a midweek three game series with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks on July 30th at Midway. The Saints took two of three from the first place team and narrowed their lead in the division to 5.5 games.
The first game of the series was played on a perfect Tuesday night for baseball in St. Paul. The Saints players agreed as they trounced the Redhawks by a score of 11-1. The Saints had big innings in the 3rd (three runs), and 4th (five runs) fueled by a Ole Sheldon two run home run, and three RBI by Brandon Tripp (one in the third, two in the fourth). Starting pitcher Mark Hamburger also did his part once again to hold the opposing team down, throwing 6.2 innings allowing only one run. The promotion for the night was "It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. The 30th Anniversary of National Lampoon's Vacation.". The night included a Chevy Chase sound alike contest, and a Vacation twist to games in between innings. This night once again gave us the opportunity to go to a new seating area we had never been to before. We were invited up to the Taco Bell Party Box to take a picture of the group that had rented the box out for the night. The group, mostly from SeaSalt Eatery in Minneapolis, were having a great time and were very fun to hang out with. The view from from the box above the left field wall was an awesome way to watch a couple of innings of the game. My MVP is a tie between Ole Sheldon (2-3, 2R, 3RBI, HR, BB) and Brandon Tripp (2-3, 2R, 3RBI, 2B, BB).
Wednesday's game was a day game at Midway that unfortunately did not go the Saints way. They were held to a season low four hits in the game on a very good pitching performance by the Redhaws starter Taylor Stanton (7IP, 1ER, 5K's). The lone bright spot for the Saints was Willie Cabrera who made his one hit in the game a big one, hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning. The Saints lost the game by a score of 3-1. The promotion for the day game was "Big Bird Watcher Day at Midway - join us for bird watching and birds playing baseball (Redhawks)". The day included an egg hatching game between innings where contestants (wearing bird heads of course) had to hatch ten eggs by sitting on them. This was easily the messiest, and one of the most fun to watch contests the Saints have had all season. My MVP for the game is Willie Cabrera (1-4, R, RBI, HR)
The series finally was played Thursday night, Aug 1st. The game saw the Redhawks get to starter Billy Soule early for two runs in the first. But Soule settled in and with help from the bullpen shut the Redhawks down for the remainder of the game. The Saints scored one run in the second and then took the lead on another late inning come back at home. With one out in the seventh and runners on first and third Brad Boyer hit a RBI double to tie the game at two. Then after a intentional walk to Willie Cabrera (his third walk of the game) to load the bases, Brandon Tripp hit a sacrifice fly to score what would turn out to be the winning run. Matt Meyer pitched a scoreless ninth for the save and a 3-2 Saints victory. The promotion for the night was "TRAIN. 50 Years of Petticoat Junction presented by The Union Depot.". Fans entering the gate received train conductor hats with the Saints and Union Depot names on them, and the Choo Choo Bob show characters were on hand outside the ballpark with a train trolley giving rides. At one point during the gamethey lead a train of kids around the concourse inside the ballpark. My MVP for the game is Billy Soule (7IP, 2ER, 3K's)
The Saints play out of town until Friday, August 9th when they begin a seven game home stand against the Sioux City Explorers (three games), and the Sioux Falls Canaries (four games). Let's all get to Midway and support the Saints as they make a push for the playoffs!