The team arrives in Army jeeps to kick off Friday nights game
The Saints latest home stand began on June 7th with three games against the Sioux City Explorers. Once again Midway Stadium is dirt free as the Saints brought out their brooms, sweeping the Explorers three games to none. Baseball, bachelor party, beer, free baseball, sweep. What more could you ask for?
The first game of the series was played Friday night on a humid, sprinkling night at Midway. The Saints won 4-0 as the damp conditions didn't slow down pitcher Robert Coe, who pitched his second career shutout, allowing only three hits, and setting a new high for strikeouts with 9. On the offensive side of the ball the Saints knocked twelve hits in the game, including three from lead off hitter Devin Thaut. The promotion for the game was, The Return of 1998's M*A*S*H Night with camouflage baseball giveaway courtesy of the US Army Recruiting Battalion. The first 500 fans in the gate received really nice Saints, and US Army camouflage baseballs. The Saints players and coaches also wore camouflage jerseys for the game. The jerseys (which were signed by the players after the game) were sold in a silent auction during the game. This year we decided to bid and won catcher Dwight Childs jersey (my first Saints jersey!). My MVP for the game is, Robert Coe (9IP, 3H, 0ER, 9K).
Saturday's game saw the home team hang on to a three run lead in the ninth to win by a score of 4-3. The Saints took advantage of five Explorers errors, scoring three unearned runs in the game. The promotion for the game was, "Who ya gonna call?" Bill Murray T-shirt Giveaway presented by Walser Automotive in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters. The first 1000 fans received navy blue t-shirts with Bill Murray wearing his Saints hat on it. Yes, we did get in early enough to get the shirts. And yes, the shirts are awesome. There were no Bill Murray sightings during the night (other than cardboard cutouts making their way around the lot), but there were plenty of Ghostbusters. Three Ghostbusters wagons, and quite a few people in full Ghostbusters suits with traps, and Proton packs were entertaining fans outside the gate and in the stadium throughout the evening. Our afternoon started about four in the big tailgating tent by the tracks for our friend Kevin's bachelor party. The party was full of good people, good beer, and lots of green onion brats. The 10th Inning Stretch crew was in attendance along with our friend, and fellow huge Saints fan Aaron, and some of Kevin's friends. After the party moved into the stadium I got a text from my cousin Ted saying that his work, Ingster Marketing, had rented out the SS Porkchop in left field and to come say hi. We of course said yes, and ended up spending the rest of the game hanging out with a fun new group of people in an area we had never watched a game from before. It was a great time, thanks to Ted, and Ingster for letting us crash their party. We finished the night meeting back up with the bachelor party for the 10th in the lot. Wow, what a night. It seems like something new still happens every game. So much fun. My MVP for the game is, Evan Bigley (2-4, 2R, RBI, 2SB).
The final game of the series turned out to be a Sunday afternoon marathon, as the teams played thirteen innings before deciding a winner. The Saints completed their sweep of the Explorers winning the game, 7-6 on a sac fly by Devin Thaut that scored Joey Becker. Man, I love walk-offs! The game featured two great pitching performances by Saints relievers. Drew Gay, and Dylan Thomas combined for seven innings of shutout ball. The promotion for the game was, Bring your pooch to the park for dog day at Midway presented by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. It seemed like a lot more dogs were at the game this year than last. It was fun to see them all interact while walking around the ballpark, or in their seats (some of them did sit on the bleachers next to their owner). A fun part of the day was the between inning fun after the ninth. Like last year, the entertainment team just wings it when their scheduled bits and contests are done. And again like last year, these turn out to be some of the most fun. Today included Mudonna having a dance off with an intern in a bear suit, and an intern riding a little kids bicycle around the warning track. My MVP for the game is a tie between Drew Gay (4IP, 0ER, K), and Dylan Thomas (3IP, 0ER, 2K).
The Saints next home stand began the next day against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Stay tuned for my next blog about our fun at the games, coming to a computer near you soon.