MiLB AAA Baseball News

Saints Come from Behind Three Times, Fajardo Wins It with Walk-Off Single in 11th, 5-4

St. Paul Saints

March 31, 2024 – International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN – Pitching was the story for most of the day between the Columbus Clippers and St. Paul Saints on Sunday afternoon at CHS Field. The Saints trailed in the ninth, 10th, and 11th and came back each time finally winning 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th on a walk-off two-run single by Yoyner Fajardo in front of 3,019. The win improves the Saints to 2-0, the lone undefeated team in the International League.

With the game tied at three in the 11th, the Clippers took a 4-3 lead when leadoff man Jose Brito knocked in the placed runner with a single to right-center.

The Saints had the answer in the bottom of the inning. With Will Holland the pinch runner at second for the placed runner Patrick Winkel, Anthony Prato’s infield single to short put runners at first and second. After a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third Alex Isola was intentionally walked with one out. Fajardo came through with a two-run, walk-off single up the middle to end the game.

The game only wound up in extras because the Saints tied it in the ninth after trailing 2-1. Prato was called out on strikes, but challenged the strike three call. The call was overturned and extended his at bat. He made the most of it by singling to left. Prato took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a DaShawn Keirsey Jr. groundout, and scored on Isola’s sacrifice fly.

The teams exchanged runs in the 10th with each team scoring the placed runner. The Clippers sacrificed the runner over and Dom Nuñez’ RBI single gave the Clippers a 3-2 lead. The Saints scored their placed runner when Michael Helman singled and Jose Miranda scored him on a sacrifice fly.

The pitching was strong all game long and Saints starter Brent Headrick was lights out. After a shaky first inning in which he gave up three hits, but didn’t give up a run due to a double play, Headrick settled down.

Headrick struck out the side in the second and the first two hitters in the third before giving his only two runs. Headrick gave up a two-out single in the third to José Tena. That was followed by a two-run homer to left by Brito, his first of the season, giving the Clippers a 2-0 lead. Headrick would strikeout Jonathan Rodriguez to end the inning and fan the first two batters of the fourth before departing. His final eight outs were all strikeouts as he went 3.2 innings allowing two runs on five hits and fanning eight.

The Saints got on the board in the…

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