Gert the Flirt getting a taste of her own medicine
Fresh off the heels of their three game series against the Explorers, the Saints opened up a four game series vs the Sioux Falls Canaries Monday, August 12th at Midway. The two teams would end up playing two extra inning games, including the fourth longest game in Saints history, and splitting the series two games a piece.
The series opener would prove to be the type of game only a true baseball fan would like, an old fashioned pitchers duel. Both teams starting pitchers would go nine full innings giving up a combined nine total hits, but neither would factor into the decision of the game. Saints starting pitcher Anthony Claggett was lights out through his nine innings giving up only three hits and striking out six. During one stretch Claggett retired seventeen strait Canaries batters. Canaries starter Kyle Ruwe was almost equally as good allowing only six hits to the Saints. Once the bullpens took over the Saints had their chances to win the game. In the tenth inning the Saints had two runners thrown out at home, the last to end the inning. In the eleventh the Canaries scored the lone run of the game, winning 1-0 after holding the Saints in the bottom of the inning. This was the Saints franchise record setting their third 1-0 loss on the year. The promotion for the night was "A Single Shade of Grey: What Happens on the Road, Stays on the Road". For this promotion both teams wore grey away uniforms, both with blue lettering (a little confusing to look at for the casual observer I'm sure). The contests for the night included two women racing to see who could eat/lick all of the whip cream off of a bald mans head. There was also a in between inning bit with a woman holding up and
describing different items she had on a table on the field, all I would
guess, referenced in the book 50 Shades of Grey. These items ranged from
handcuffs (later used by Annie Ballarini to handcuff P.A. announcer
Halsey Lindquist to a railing by the P.A. table), to a tickler she said she
uses to play with her kitty. My MVP for the game is Anthony Claggett (9IP, 3H, 0ER, 6K's)
The second game between the Saints and Canaries was played Tuesday afternoon, and was more of what we are accustomed to seeing at Midway with twelve total runs scored in the game. The Saints were trailing 3-2 late in the game but that quickly changed as they put up five runs in the seventh. The big blow of the inning being a three RBI double by Brandon Tripp with the bases loaded. The Canaries tried to rally in the ninth but would come up short scoring only two. The Saints won the game 7-5. The promotion for the game was "Are you also aware, Mrs. Bueller, That Ferris does not have what we consider to be an exemplary attendance record? Skip work for the ballgame today presented by Delta Dental". During the game P.A. announcers Halsey Lindquist and Brian Kelly (regular announcer Lee Adams had the day off) wore "Save Ferris" t-shirts referencing the classic movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. With the game being a day game and also a 12:05pm start (not the normal 1:05pm start for most day games) it allowed a very large amount of kids to attend and watch almost the entire game before their buses had to leave. We saw at least ten school buses pulling up on our way to the parking lot, and inside the stadium it was even move evident as the Saints had overflow seating ten to fifteen rows deep in both outfield foul grounds full of kids. This was great to see! I remember going to ball games as a kid and loving them. My MVP for the game is Brandon Tripp (2-4, 2B, 3RBI, BB)
Game three of the series would turn out to be the aforementioned fourth longest game in Saints history at four hours thirty minutes long. There would end up being a total of twenty three runs scored, and thirty six hits total in the game. Along with eleven total pitchers used between the two teams. Starter Mark Hamburger once again pitched well for the Saints, going seven innings allowing three runs while striking out six, leaving with a 7-3 lead. But after Hamburger was out of the game the Canaries rallied back to tie the game at seven in the ninth and force extra innings. Both teams scored three runs in the tenth, so tied at ten the game went on. Both bullpens held in the eleventh before the Canaries finally broke through in the twelfth with three more runs. The Saints were not able to come back this time and lost the game 13-10 in twelve innings with the game ending at 11:37pm. The promotion for the game was "Larry Doby Passion for the Community Night presented by Central Bank". During the game both teams wore Negro League throw back uniforms in honor of Larry Doby who was the second black player in Major League Baseball and the first in the American League. Bill Veeck (Saints owner Mike Veeck's dad) signed Doby to play for the Cleveland Indians in 1947. The Saints also played a well done tribute video to Doby, and hold this celebration night annually. The night was a great tribute to a Baseball and American hero by the Saints. Well done! This game was very well attended partially thanks to Central Bank who donated a large amount of tickets. A very nice gesture to show passion in the community. The night also included a few surprise extra inning contests/promotions (as mentioned in my last blog nothing is planned after nine innings) ranging from P.A. announcer Halsey Lindquist being challenged by an intern to a race around the field warning track (which Halsey easily won) to an intern spin with your head on a bat ten times, or in their case about twenty times, and then run to the finish line race. Needless to say at 11:00pm after spinning around twenty times neither intern made it very close to the finish line. My MVP for the game is Brian Burgamy (3-5, 2B, 2R, 3RBI, BB, HR) with honorable mention to Mark Hamburger (7IP, 3ER, 6K's)
The series finally was played Thursday night before a lot of still tired staff members and season ticket holders from the night before. But luckily the Saints offense was not suffering the same lack of sleep hangover we all were. The Saints jumped out to a big 11-1 lead through six innings with the help of four runs in the fourth and six in the fifth innings. Jose Hernandez provided the biggest hit during those innings with a three run home run in the fourth. The Canaries mounted a come back late but it was not enough as the Saints won the game 12-8. The promotion for the game was "We Promise not to make any Hasselhoff Jokes this year (maybe not) on German Night". The night included a German quintet that sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch, and a yodeling contest for fans. My MVP for the game is Jose Hernandez (2-3, R, 4RBI, HR)
Special shout out's to....Steve Hamburger, it was great meeting you Wednesday night in the parking lot, thank you for your support! The Candy Lady crew, Bruce
(our season ticket seat neighbor) and his work buddy's for tailgating with us before, during, and after the game Tuesday. And last but not least the 10th Inning Stretch for always having great brats and fun baseball conversations when we tailgate with you.
The Saints next home series begins Monday August 19th against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. I hope to see you all there!