ST. PAUL, MN – A ten-run bottom of the sixth helped the Saints win 11-10 over the Goldeyes on Sunday afternoon at CHS Field.
Despite the loss, the Goldeyes offence shined in their final game of the season. On the first pitch of his first plate appearance in the game, Josh Mazzola struck his 1000th career base hit in his 10-year professional career. The Goldeyes also homered four times, including two home runs from Grant Heyman.
With the Goldeyes leading 6-1 heading into the sixth, the Saints batted around and scored ten times to take an 11-6 lead. Zach Walters, Dante Bichette Jr., Aaron Gretz and Dan Motl all drove in runs. Both Max Murphy and Walters also hit two-out, three-run homers to put the Saints ahead.
The Fish pulled within two in the seventh. Josh Romanski, Heyman and Reggie Abercrombie all singled to load the bases. Mazzola followed up with a two-run single down the right field line. He stayed in the back-and-forth run down long enough to allow Abercrombie to score from first, for the third run of the inning.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Tucker Nathans homered in the ninth pitch of his at-bat to put the Goldeyes within one. Saints’ Mike Devine retired the next batter to end the ballgame.
The Goldeyes initially took the lead, with a four-run top of the first. Grant Heyman opened scoring with a towering homerun. It was the first homerun from either side in the series. Abercrombie took first after being hit by a pitch, and second on the 1000thcareer base-hit from Mazzola. Nathan hit an opposite field double to score Abercrombie and Tyler Baker hit a two-out, two-run single down the right field line to score Mazzola and Nathans.
In the fourth, Baker hit a solo home run to give the Fish a 5-0 lead. Walters answered back with a solo home run in the bottom half to put the Saints on the board.
In the fifth inning, Heyman homered for the second time to give the Fish a 6-1 lead heading into the sixth.
Alex Boshers started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision. Zack Dodson took the loss, allowing six earned runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. St. Paul’s starting pitcher Ryan Zimmerman was credited with the win, allowing six earned runs on seven hits over six innings. Mike Devine picked up the save.
The St. Paul Saints move on to face the Gary SouthShore RailCats in the first series of the playoffs on Tuesday Evening. The Fish have now finished their 2018 season and will be back for another year of baseball beginning May 2019.