12 Walks Helps Milkmen Take Opener in Gary
By Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Gary, IN – The Milwaukee Milkmen benefitted from four long balls as they took the series opener against the RailCats 9-6.
After stranding a runner at third base in their first turn at bat, the Milkmen opened the scoring in the top of the second. A two-run Hector Sanchez home run propelled Milwaukee to ahead early.
Right away, though, the RailCats answered back in dramatic fashion. Jesus Marriaga motored around the bases for an inside-the-park home run that immediately cut the Milkmen advantage in half at 2-1.
However, the Milkmen struck back by way of the long ball for a three-run third inning. Miguel Gomez launched a three-run home run, the team’s second of the game, and Milwaukee went up 5-1.
The RailCats, once again, were quick to respond, and they pulled a run back in their half of the frame. Jackson Smith led off by legging out a double, and two batters later, Daniel Lingua singled him home to bring Gary SouthShore back within three at 5-2.
To reply in the top of the fourth, the Milkmen employed some savvy baserunning to restore their lead at four. Jeremiah Burks led off by doubling to left field and Carl Chester advanced him to third on a groundout before a Logan Trowbridge walk. The two then combined for a delayed steal, and they successfully plated Milwaukee’s sixth tally.
Not too long afterward, the RailCats rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make their way back into the contest. Following a Lester Madden leadoff single, Smith tripled him home, and a Michael Woodworth sacrifice fly decreased the deficit to two.
Unfazed, Milwaukee continued to keep the RailCats at a distance, tacking on another run in the top of the sixth. A two out Gomez single converted a pair of walks, and Milwaukee found themselves leading by three.
While the Milkmen bullpen stepped up to hold the RailCats down, Gary SouthShore’s bullpen came up clutch to stay in the game. Julio Vivas maneuvered around a two-out walk to throw a scoreless seventh, and Reyson Santos survived a runner in scoring position to blank Milwaukee in the eighth, keeping the score at 7-4.
But, the Milwaukee power bats re-emerged in the ninth. Sanchez and Christ Conley delivered back-to-back solo home runs, supplying the Milkmen with five runs of support needing just three outs to secure the win.
Down to their final three outs, the RailCats refused to go down without a fight. Marriaga drew a four-pitch walk, and Tom Walraven blasted a two-run home run to try and spark a comeback.
Nevertheless, luck was not on Gary SouthShore’s side. Milwaukee quickly picked up the final two outs to emerge victorious.
The RailCats return to The Steel Yard at 4:00 p.m. with a chance to even their series against the Milkmen. All the action can be streamed on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.