Rosemont, Ill. – A two-run, two-out, eighth inning single from Treysen Vavra to cap a three RBI night helped the Dogs defeat the St. Paul Saints 7-6 to take the series over their Northern division foes Saturday night during Jurassic Ballpark at Impact Field.
Chicago struck with power early, and used clutch hits throughout the night to set themselves up with an opportunity for their first sweep in franchise history Sunday.
St. Paul struck first with a two-spot in the top of the first after the first three batters of the game reached via singles.
The Dogs would answer right back however, thanks to two long balls in the first inning from Vavra and Matt Dean. Both the home runs came with two outs and were wrapped around a Joe Benson walk to give the Dogs a 3-2 lead. Chicago has now scored three first inning runs in each of the first two games in the series.
Another two-run home run shot off the bat of Jonathan Moroney in the bottom of the second inning to push the Dogs lead to 5-2. The long ball again came with two outs against St. Paul starter Jake Esch, and marked the first time in franchise history that Chicago has hit three home runs in a game.
The Saints slowly started to inch their way back in the game with single tallies in their halves of the third and fifth innings. St. Paul then tied the game on a Tyson Perez balk in the sixth, and ultimately completed the comeback by taking the lead on a Jayce Boyd sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Chicago would claw back themselves though, against two different St. Paul pitchers in the bottom of the eighth. Jake Matthys began the frame by striking out Matt Telesco. Ryan Wagner then doubled for the second time in his first five Chicago at-bats to put the tying man in scoring position. Following a Mike Falsetti walk, Moroney roped a single into the right field gap, but Wagner was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the frame.
Saints manager George Tsamis brought his closer Tom Wilhelmsen into the game with runners on second and third for a four-out save. After an Edwin Arroyo walk loaded the bags, Vavra delivered a two-run single to push the Dogs back in front for good.
All seven Dogs runs in the game came with two outs. St. Paul lost a game when leading after seven innings for the first time all year. The Saints had been 12-0 in such games entering Saturday.
Kaohi Downing worked around a lead-off single in the bottom of the ninth by coaxing a double play off the bat of Dante Bichette Jr. Downing picked up his sixth save of the year and his sixth of the season. The Dogs turned three double plays on the night, setting a single-game franchise high.
Chicago will look to take the brooms out Sunday during a special Father’s Day series finale at Impact Field. The day will begin with a Pre-Game catch in the field, with first pitch following at 1:05 p.m. Chicago will send Connor Root to the mound searching for his third consecutive victory.
The game will be broadcast at www.thechicagodogs.com/broadcasts/ with the Crowne Plaza Pregame Show beginning at 12:45 p.m.