Dobnak joins two exclusive clubs with 10k and 100 pitch performance as Saints win fifth in a row 3-1

    St. Paul saints

June 15, 2024 – International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints news release

LOUISVILLE, KY – Randy Dobnak did something Saturday night at Louisville Slugger Field that no other St. Paul Saints pitcher has ever done. He joined two exclusive clubs: the 10 strikeout and 100 pitch club, but became the first pitcher in franchise history to accomplish both in one game. He pitched 6.0 shutout innings, Matt Wallner was perfect that night and the Saints won for the fifth straight and tied a straight sixth in a 3-1 victory over the Louisville Bats.

It started for Dobnak in the very first inning when he struckout. He gave up a two-out single in the second and a one-out single in the third, but blew three in those two innings.

Matt Wallner continued his torrid June. He hit .347/.418/.796 in June with a league-high six home runs on the month. He added to the total with an opposite-field solo homer to left-center in the fourth, his 14th of the season, giving the Saints a 1–0 lead.

Dobnak retired the last 11 men he faced, going from one out in the third to his final out in the sixth. He punctuated his evening by striking out Rece Hinds with his 100th pitch of the evening. Dobnak went 6.0 shutout innings, allowing two hits while walking one and striking out 10. The 10 strikeouts were a career-high, surpassing the nine he had on July 1, 2019 while at Double-A Pensacola vs. Mississippi played. He becomes the third pitcher to fan 10 in a game in Saints history, joining Iowa’s Griffin Jax and David Festa, who has done it three times this season, on May 28, 2021. Dobnak also became the third pitcher in franchise history to throw at least 100 pitches, joining Andrew Albers, who did so twice (104 on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis and 100 on May 14, 2021 vs. Iowa) and Mario Sanchez (103 pitches on June 2 2022 in Iowa). Dobnak and Festa, who struck out 10 on Friday night, become the third International League teammates to have at least 10 strikeouts in back-to-back starts this season, joining Syracuse’s Christian Scott and Dom Hamel on April 10 and 11 and Gwinnett’s Bryce Elder and Hudson Waldrep on June 1 and 2.

The Saints extended their lead in the seventh and it was also started by Wallner. He opened with a line drive single to right-center. Wallner finished 4-4 with a home run, RBI and two runs scored. Yunior Severino followed with a walk. Jair Camargo made it 2-0 with a double to center. After a pitching change, Tony Kemp’s sacrifice fly lifted the score to 3-0.

Josh Winder got the pick-up for Dobnak and threw a perfect seventh. The Bats got their first runner to second in the eighth inning. With no one on and two outs, back-to-back singles by Levi Jordan and Blake Dunn put runners on first and second base, but Winder got Liván Soto to ground out to end the inning. Winder went 2.0 shutout innings, allowing two hits while striking out one.

Kody Funderburk closed the game in the ninth. He retired the first two batters on a groundout and struckout, but hit Edwin Ríos. He finished second due to defensive indifference. PJ Higgins then bounced a single up the middle to score Ríos, making it 3-1. Pinch hitter Hernán Pérez reached on a fielding error by short stop Diego Castillo, setting up the tying run and putting the winning run on the plate. However, Funderburk struck out Austin Wynns to end the game. The same two teams will meet Sunday afternoon at 12:05 PM (CT) in the finale of the six-game series at Louisville Slugger Field. The Saints send RHP Caleb Boushley (6-1, 3.88) to the mound against Bats LHP Brandon Leibrandt (1-0, 3.66). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

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