The Saints began their last long home stand of the year (seven games strait) on July 18th with the first of three vs the Laredo Lemurs. Everything went the Saints way as they swept the visitors with good pitching, an offensive explosion, and some walk off magic. The weekend's fun included friends from out of town, clones everywhere, and wrestling in the Midway parking lot.
Friday's series opener was highlighted with another solid start by pitcher Anthony Claggett, and some timely hitting by the offense. The Saints won the game 6-3 and tied the Lemurs in the playoff wildcard race. The promotion for the game was, Friday Night Fireworks presented by Xcel Energy, with a special appearance by Lou Brock. Yes that's right, the real Lou Brock was at Midway stadium to raise awareness about Type II Diabetes. He also posed for pictures with fans, and signed autographs prior to the game. Our night was highlighted by our friend Julie and her kids Luca and Emiliano being in town from Mexico and coming to the game with us. At the game they were at last year, the kids wanted to do the tire race but it was already filled, so this year we signed them up for the Rasmussen Punch the Clock Race where they were dressed in inflatable suits and raced to punch the intern holding a clock. They had so much fun, it was awesome! Thanks Brian! My MVP for the game is, Anthony Claggett (7IP, 2ER, 5K).
Game two saw the Saints bats explode for twelve runs with three players having two RBI each (Maus, Cabrera, Wrigley) and one (McDonald) with three. The final score ended at 12-4 as the Saints took a one game lead in the playoff wild card race over the Lemurs. The promotion for the night was, Send in the Clones! For the game Gert the Flirt, Al Aboard, Billy Can, and Mudonna were all paired up with a clone of themselves. A fun moment during the game was an on the field tug of war between the real characters and the clones, the reals ended up winning a hard fought battle over the equally strong clones. Six ushertainers, two giant pink pigs, a trip to the Gulag, and a high scoring win for the home team, I think this is about as much fun as you can have at the ball park. My MVP for the game is, Jared McDonald (3-4, 3R, 3RBI, BB, 3B).
The finale of the three game set against Laredo was a nail biter in the truest sense of the phrase. The Saints were down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning after Laredo tied and took the lead with runs in back to back innings (6th, 7th). Then with two on and two out Willie Cabrera stepped in and came through with another clutch hit for Saints batters at home, a two run double to win the game 3-2. A fun part of the post game celebration was Manager George Tsamis being one of the first people to run on the field to congratulate Willie after the walk off hit. Even more fun was the fact the George beat most of the players to Willie and he was on second base. How can you not like a manager that shows that much emotion, and has that much fun with his players? I sure can't. The promotion for the game was, Hear the greatest blood donation stories on Half-Pint Heroes Day presented by Memorial Blood Centers. Also added to the promotion schedule for the day was AMF Wrestling after the game. This promotion was originally scheduled for June 22nd but was canceled due to rain. I must admit it was really entertaining, and the fifty or so other fans that hung around for it really got into the matches. Especially when Saints hitting and third base coach, Ole Sheldon, stepped into the ring as a special guest manager for one of the good guy wrestlers. Ole did his part by distracting the other wrestler, like a good manager does, so his guy could come back in the match and win. My MVP for the game is, Willie Cabrera (2-4, 2R, BB, GW 2B).
With the sweep of Lemurs the Saints took a two game lead in the playoff wild card race. Even with over a month left in the season I can already feel the games having a playoff like atmosphere at the ballpark. It's definitely helping make the LastTrain at Midway a fun ride! The Saints next home series began the following day against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Stay tuned for my next blog, the fun gets even better!