St. Paul Saints 21, Ports 5
‘Sather Helps Power Saints to Championship’
By Wes Thomas, special to MSBL
October 30, 2015, Tempe Diablo Stadium – The St. Paul Saints led off the bottom of the first inning with a base hit and never let up as they continued to have six multi hit innings and when the dust settled at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Saints had collected 25 total hits and scored 21 runs to walk away with the 65+ Central Division Championship against the out-gunned Ports.
The Saints guns came out blazing in the first inning as they riddled the Ports with five runs before an out was made. The first seven players reached base with hits except for one walk. Roger Johnson, Reese Doffing, Mark Liliedahl and Dave Sobiech all had rbis in the frame.
The heavy artillery continued to rain down on the Ports for the next two innings. The Saints scored three more in the second as Gary Rodriguiz and Neil Sather had back to back rbi singles. Reese Doffing collected his third rbi (in just two innings) of the game with a sacrifice fly ball. The third inning was more of the same as Rodriquiz singled home two for his third rbi in as many innings, and Sather drove in his second rbi of the game and the Saints added four more runs. The fourth inning the Saints bats began to cool but the Ports defense and pitching showed signs of shell shock as they committed some defensive errors allowing more runs to enter the scorebook. At the end of four complete innings the Saints had rumbled through town with 14 runs on 15 hits!
The ringing in the Ports ears finally stopped and some quiet came in the fifth inning as the Saints didn’t have a hit or run but it proved only that the Saints were reloading their bats because in the sixth inning the Saints opened fire with more base hits. An rbi single by Scott Radtke and a two run single by John Pepin added five more to the scoreboard. By this time the Saints had 19 notches on the board to the Ports none. The Saints added another run to make it an even 20 when Mike Rasmussen singled scoring Pat Fynes, who singled earlier in the inning.
The Ports didn’t get to this game by running and hiding from the enemy. They gathered themselves and rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning and banged out four hits of their own while scoring three runs. The Ports Bruce Jaslow pinch hit and doubled home all three runs in the inning showing the fire power the Ports had displayed all week to get them there.
The Saints added a run in the eighth, but again the Ports showing their character, loaded up heavily in the ninth inning and collected four more big hits while scoring two runs before running out of ammo.
Pat Thompson, manager of the St. Paul Saints had a feeling about this clubs chances early in the week. ”About Tuesday, after we had turned about 11 double plays, I knew we had a good chance of being here. We knew we were going to be a good hitting team. Our first three guys in our lineup today were 10 for 11 and that just set the stage for us.” Thompson continued, “We had two shut outs in our previous playoff games, and seven innings of shutout ball today. Great bunch of guys all focused on a common goal…each other.”
Thompson pointed out several key offensive contributors. Pat Fynes, (3 for 3) Power hitting Gary Rodriguiz,(4 for 5) and Neil Sather.(3 for 3) “I bet Neil Sather hit .700 for the week.”Mike Rasmussen was also singled out as a key shared role player. “He led us in runs scored, very instrumental for us.”