Tag Archives: St. Paul Saints

2019 Indy League Champions

With the MLB World Series wrapping up (Congratulations to the Washington Nationals!), let’s recap the 2019 Independent League Champions throughout the country.

All stories and photos courtesy of the individual team and league’s websites.

Atlantic League – Long Island Ducks


Long Island Ducks Are 2019 Atlantic League Champions

(Sugar Land, Texas., Oct. 6, 2019) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters 8-4 on Sunday night at Constellation Field in Game Five of the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Ducks win the best-of-five series three games to two and are the 2019 Atlantic League champions.

This marks Long Island’s fourth Atlantic League Championship in franchise history, joining their 2004, 2012 and 2013 clubs. The Ducks ended 2019, their 20th Anniversary Season, by winning the first and second half Liberty Division titles, the Liberty Division Championship and now the Atlantic League Championship. Long Island’s four Atlantic League titles are second-most in league history.

A bases loaded walk to Hector Sanchez in the first inning gave the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. Denis Phipps tied the game at one in the second with a leadoff solo home run to left field. Long Island went back on top in the third inning on a two-run single to left by Deibinson Romero.

An RBI single to left field by Sanchez and a sacrifice fly to left by Romero increased the Ducks lead to 5-1. Sugar Land scratched across a run in the seventh on a sac fly to center from Cody Stanley. However, the Ducks got the run back in the eighth on Daniel Fields’ sac fly to left.

The Skeeters plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice from Albert Cordero and a wild pitch that scored Anthony Giansanti. However, a two-out, two-run home run from Romero in the ninth put the game out of reach at 8-4.

Ducks starter Vin Mazzaro (3-0) earned the win, tossing six and one-third innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out three. Skeeters starter Mike Hauschild (0-3) suffered the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits and five walks over four and one-third innings with two strikeouts.

Romero led the Flock offensively with two hits, five RBIs and a run in the game. He was named the Atlantic League Championship Series Most Valuable Player after finishing the series with a .444 batting average, two home runs, nine RBIs, three runs, eight hits and 15 total bases.

The Ducks will host a celebration for all fans in the Duck Club at Bethpage Ballpark on Tuesday, October 8. Festivities will get underway at 6:30 p.m., and brand new 2019 Atlantic League Championship merchandise will be on sale for the very first time. Stay tuned to LIDucks.com for further information.

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) 

With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

American Association – St. Paul Saints


LEILA NAVIDI – STAR TRIBUNE The Saints’ Chesny Young holds the American Association championship trophy as the team celebrates the league title


St. Paul 6, Sioux City 3-Box Score

The St. Paul Saints finished off a series sweep of the Sioux City Explorers with a game 3 win in the American Association Finals to earn the 2019 American Association Championship.

The Explorers scored their only runs on a three-run home run by RF James Hazelbakerin the top of the first.

The Saints cut the lead to 3-1 on a solo home run by SS Chris Baker in the bottom of the third. 3B Chesny Young hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to give St. Paul a 5-3 lead. One inning later 1B John Silviano (3-for-4) added an RBI double to bring the game to its final score.

LHP Jordan Jess earned the win after throwing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. RHP Tanner Kiest pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save.

Saints’ SP Ryan Zimmerman gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings of work while earning a no-decision.

Sioux City’s SP Taylor Jordan allowed four runs in 5.1 innings of work to be tabbed with the loss.

The American Association title is the first in the history of the St. Paul Saints.

Can-Am League – New Jersey Jackals

  • The last Can-Am League champions



September 14 Playoff Recap

New Jersey 8, Sussex County 7 – Box Score (Game 4 – New Jersey wins championship, 3-1)

The New Jersey Jackals won their first ever Can-Am League championship as they defeated Sussex County in game four of the title series by the score of 8-7. New Jersey had an 8-2 lead through 3 ½ innings of play before having to hold off a furious rally by the Miners to claim the championship.

The Jackals pounded out 11 hits in the contest with four batters having multi-hit games. New Jersey DH Richard Stock led the way going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Jackals SS Santiago Chirino and CF David Harris each collected a pair of hits and a run while LF Alfredo Marte drove in two runs and went 2-for-5.

New Jersey pitcher Reece Karalus tossed two innings of relief and grabbed his third win of the postseason. Karalus (3-0) allowed an earned run on two hits and struck out two batters. Jackals closer Dylan Brammer threw three shutout innings and notched his fourth save. Brammer fanned four batters and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to end the contest.

For Sussex County in the losing effort, LF Jose Brizuela had a 2-for-5 night with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI.


Frontier League – River City Rascals



The River City Rascals defeated the Florence Freedom 7-5 in Game 5 of the Frontier League Championship Series on Monday night, earning their second league title, and first since 2010. The championship marks the end of the team’s 21-year run in O’Fallon, as they announced in August that they would cease operations at the end of the season. Outfielder LJ Kalawaia was named the FLCS MVP, and hit a key two-run double in a pivotal six-run seventh inning.

The Freedom jumped out to an early start, getting an RBI single from Isaac Benard in the first inning. The Rascals responded with an RBI single from Tanner Murphy in the fourth, before the Freedom regained the lead with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

After Ricky Ramirez Jr.’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Freedom a 3-1 lead, the Rascals rattled off six in the seventh, getting an RBI single from James Morisano, Kalawaia’s two-run double, a two-run triple from Kameron Esthay, and a sacrifice fly from Zach Lavy to take a 7-3 lead.

The Freedom were able to rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, before Andrew Vernon got Brandon Pugh to pop-up to Lavy at first to seal the victory and earn the save.

Rascals starter Jason Zgardowski allowed two runs over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision, while Anthony Herrera (1-0) earned the win. The Rascals also got two key innings of relief from Taylor Ahearn. Freedom starter Scott Sebald (2-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

United Shore Pro Baseball League

USPBL – Utica Unicorns


Unicorns Capture USPBL Championship

September 8th, 2019

Box Score | Photo Gallery

UTICA, Mich. – It was a magical season for the Utica Unicorns, capped off by rallying from four runs down late to defeat the Westside Woolly Mammoths, 6-5, in the United Shore Professional Baseball League Championship Game on Sunday in front of the largest crowd in USPBL history, 4,926. The Unicorns’ Jimmy Latona was named Most Valuable Player after driving in two runs, going 1-for-3.

Right-handed pitcher Nolan Clenney broke the single-season USPBL record with his eighth save of the season, tossing two perfect innings. RHP Luke Dawson earned his first win of the season, throwing a scoreless seventh inning.
The Mammoths sprinted out to a 5-1 lead with two runs in the first inning and third inning. The regular-season champion had the USPBL Pitcher of the Year Matt Cronin on the mound at 7-0, and he tossed 6.1 innings, allowing just three runs in the no decision. The Unicorns got to the Mammoths’ bullpen, scoring three runs in the seventh inning and the winning run in the eighth inning.

On his birthday, Malik Blaise finished 3-for-4 with one run scored. Dan Elliott and Kyle Bonicki each went 2-for-4 for the Unicorns.

Leading the Woolly Mammoths were Sonny Cortez and Dan Williams. Each drove in two runs and Cortez smacked a home run in the first inning.
It was a historic season for the USPBL, with a record 62 sell outs, 259,000 fans and a single-game attendance record on Championship Sunday. Nine players were signed by Major League Baseball organizations and former Unicorns’ pitcher Randy Dobnak became the first-ever major leaguer, pitching nine scoreless innings so far in the MLB and earning a save for the Minnesota Twins.


Pacific Association – San Rafael Pacifics

September 1, 2019 at 9:35 pm


Jailen Peguero took the mound for San Rafael in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday and didn’t stop pitching until the Pacifics had clinched both the victory and a second consecutive Pacific Association title.

Peguero faced 11 batters, retiring nine of them to earn the three-inning save as San Rafael topped host Sonoma 5-3 in the Game 3 of the Championship Series.

The win allowed San Rafael to defend its title from last season and win its fourth overall Pacific Division title — claiming championships in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

Brock Knoten pitched the middle three innings of the game to earn the victory. San Rafael trailed 3-2 when he entered and had tied the game 3-3 when he exited after the sixth inning. The Pacifics scored twice in the top of the seventh, with Ermindo Escobar delivering the go-ahead hit.

Raul Navarro and Yeiler Peguero both had two hits apiece atop the order for the Pacifics. Mike Annone delivered the game-tying hit in the top of the fifth.

Pecos League – Alpine Cowboys


The Alpine Cowboys defeated the Bakersfield Train Robbers to win their second Pecos League championship.

Sam Little hit a game tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.  With one strike left before extra innings, Rodney Tennie hit a grounder to third base that got away from Bakersfield’s third baseman allowing Kellen Hatheway to come in and score the winning run for the Cowboys.

Empire League – Plattsburgh Thunderbirds



SARANAC LAKE, NY – The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds have defeated the New Hampshire  Wild  in the Empire League Championship Series two games to take home the 2019 Empire  League Championship.

The Thunderbirds took the lead in game one and never looked back. Chris Tessitore was the Pitcher of the series with 2 wins in the playoffs.

Drake Sykes made Empire League history in the wild card playoffs by hitting a 0-2 count with 2 outs , bases loaded and down by 3 runs hit a Grand Slam to keep the season going for the Thunderbirds.

Chris Tessitore got the win in the Wild Card game and also the win in game 2 of the finals where the Thunderbirds won the championship. Simon Palenchar, Hiroki Itakura and Stephen Octave led the offensive attack for the Thunderbirds.

This Championship is the Thunderbirds 2nd franchise championship in Plattsburgh.



2015 Season Wrap-Up

With the Atlantic League finishing their championship series earlier this week, the 2015 season for independent baseball has officially ended. Here’s a look at the champions for each league:

Atlantic League

(Photo: Somerset Patriots Official Website)

The Somerset Patriots defeated the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in four games to claim their sixth Atlantic League title.

This was manager Brett Jodie’s first championship of his managerial career. He previously won the championship as a player (2003) and pitching coach (2008 & 2009) with the Patriots.

The Patriots dominated the Atlantic League this season, topping the standings in the Liberty Division for both the first and second half as well as finishing the regular season with an overall record of 89-50.

American Association 

(Photo: Laredo Lemurs Facebook Page)

The Laredo Lemurs defeated the Sioux City Explorers after winning games 2, 3, and 4 of the best-of-five games series, marking the first time that the Explorers lost three consecutive games all season.

The Sioux City Explorers (75-25) and the St. Paul Saints (74-26) were battling each other at the top for the entire season, even finishing the regular season with the second and third best records in modern independent league history.

However, it was the Lemurs who were quietly putting together a championship winning team. During the last month of the season, various trades and signings completely overhauled the team preparing them to take their place as the Wild Card team for the playoffs.

Can-Am League

can am champions
(Photo: Trois-Rivieres Aigles Instagram)

The Trois-Rivieres Aigles defeated the New Jersey Jackals in Game 5 of the five game championship series to win their first Can-Am League championship in their three year existence.

The Aigles were never dominate individually.  In fact, no players from the team are represented on the postseason all-star team. But after a disastrous start to August, the team rallied to take the last playoff spot and then turned it on in the playoffs to win the title.

Frontier League

traverse city
(Photo: Traverse City Beach Bums Facebook Page)

The Traverse City Beach Bums swept the River City Rascals in the best-of-five series to win the Frontier League championship.

This championship was the first for the Beach Bums who are in their 10th season in the Frontier League. The championship match-up was a rematch of the 2010 Frontier League championship which saw the Rascals top the Beach Bums in four games.

After winning their last three regular season games, the Beach Bums finished 2nd in the East Division and ultimately went undefeated in the post season – beating the Rockford Aviators (Wild Card game), Normal Cornbelters, and River City Rascals in their 6 playoff games.

Pacific Association

(Photo: San Rafael Pacifics Facebook Page)

The San Rafael Pacifics defeated the Sonoma Stompers to win the Pacific Association Championship for the second consecutive year.

The Pacifics had the best record in the second half and finished the regular season with the best overall record at 48-30. They have been in the championship series all three years of the league’s existence, winning the last two.

Pecos League 

(Photo: Roswell Invaders Facebook Page)

The Roswell Invaders dominated the Sante Fe Fuego to win the Pecos League championship.

The Invaders won both games one and two of the three game series by scoring 17 runs against the Fuego in each game, winning Game One 17-6 and Game Two 17-5.

Baseball America

In addition, Baseball America has released their Independent League Player of the Year as well as their Top 10 Independent League Prospects.

Independent League Player of the Year

joe maloney

Joe Maloney, C/OF from the Rockland Boulders in the American Association.

Maloney was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 10th round of the 2011 draft. He reached as high as High A Myrtle Beach in 2013 before being released after the season.  He was signed by the Colorado Rockies organization in February 2014 but was then released after spring training.

That lead him to Rockland and the American Association.  He had a decent 2014, but he knew something needed to be done for him to play at his full potential.  He had off season surgery on his left shoulder, an injury that had been nagging him for awhile.  Maloney came back healthier and better prepared than ever before.  He batted .337 and set a Can-Am league record with 93 runs.

After his impressive 2015 season, he was given another shot at affiliated ball.  The Minnesota Twins organization has now signed Maloney to a minor league contract.  He went to the team’s instructional league this offseason and is preparing for spring training and another chance at playing affiliated baseball.

Baseball America’s Top 10 Independent League Prospects
  1. Austin Wright, LHP, Frontier League (Windy City)
  2. John Brebbia, RHP, American Association (Laredo)
  3. Joe Maloney, C/OF, Can-Am (Rockland)
  4. Noah Perio, SS, American Association (Sioux City)
  5. Patrick Johnson, RHP, American Association (Sioux City)
  6. Taylor Ard, 3B, Frontier League (River CIty)
  7. Logan Vick, OF, American Association (Amarillo)
  8. Connor Little, RHP, Frontier League (Evansville)
  9. Kevin Cravey, RHP, American Association (St. Paul)
  10. Daniel Bick, SS, Can-Am (Ottawa)

Honorable Mentions

Atlantic League

  • RHP Matt Gorgen, Camden
  • RHP Marcus Walden, Lancaster
  • LHP Buddy Boshers, Somerset
  • 2B/SS Mikey Reynolds, York
  • OF Delta Cleary, Long Island
  • OF Zach Collier, Lancaster

American Association

  • RHP Mike Zouzalik, St. Paul
  • RHP Matt Nevarez, Wichita
  • RHP Rob Wort, Sioux City
  • SS Anthony Phillips, St. Paul
  • 3B Christian Ibarra, Amarillo
  • RHP Matt Larkins, Amarillo
  • OF Michael Lang, Sioux City
  • OF Dexter Kjerstad, Amarillo
  • RHP Victor Cappelen, Joplin
  • C John Nester, Wichita

Frontier League

  • LHP Lucas Laster, River City
  • OF Brian Hansen, River City
  • RHP Jordan Krause, Frontier Greys


  • RHP Tony Amenzcua, Sussex County

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