All-Stars Shine, Milkmen Win, 7-4
GARY, IND. — Back-to-back walks to start the game and a couple of errors leading to two unearned runs in the first put the RailCats in an early hole from which they would never recover. A Saturday night crowd of 3,431 was treated to a late comeback effort but in the end it fell short as the ‘Cats dropped game two of this series, 7-4.
Derek Reddy walked to start the game for Milwaukee (28-43) and with Garrett Copeland at the plate he stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw from first baseman Randy Santiesteban after Trevor Lubking threw over to first on a pickoff attempt. Copeland eventually worked a walk and with runners at the corners Manuel Boscan singled in the game’s first run. Adam Walker grounded into a potential double play to Marcus Mooney at short but after getting the force at second Andy DeJesus’ throw to first was well wide and two runs scored on the play.
Down 3-0 Gary (30-42) immediately responded.
DeJesus legged out an infield single to start the inning and after getting to third base with one out, crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Tom Walraven.
After four total runs scored in the first, the pitchers would start to take over. Four straight scoreless innings from Lubking and one scoreless inning from Darin May would get Gary into the seventh without allowing another run. However, Milwaukee starter Kurt Heyer would manage to keep the RailCats off the board the next six innings.
Up 3-1 in the seventh, the Milkmen would add to their slim lead. Dan Ward singled up the middle to start the frame but after a sacrifice bunt and a fly out he was just at second with two away. Copeland followed with his third walk of the night; setting the table for Boscan, who delivered with a two-run double to extend the Milkmen lead to 5-1. Adam Walker followed with an RBI-single four pitches later and Milwaukee would take a 6-1 lead into the eighth.
Mooney dropped down a bunt single, his third straight single, to start the inning and Andy DeJesus immediately followed with a single of his own. With one out John Price Jr. bunted a ball right back to Heyer, he booted it and the bases were loaded. The Milkmen would go to their bullpen and bring in Zach Hartman who got a pop out for out number two. With a full count Colin Willis then launched a triple into the alley in left-center, scoring three runs, and bringing Gary back into the ballgame.
But Milwaukee would add a run in the ninth as Copeland would come around to score for the third time and former RailCat Myles Smith would lock things down in the bottom of the ninth, picking up save number 12.
The win went to Heyer (4-7) and the loss to Lubking (5-8).
Offensively, Mooney and DeJesus each recorded three-hit nights and Hayden Schilling, who signed his first professional baseball contract earlier this afternoon, picked up his first pro hit with a one-out single in the ninth.
The benched did clear in this game, however no fights broke out. Jose Rosario didn’t appreciate Mooney bunting down five runs to start the eighth, and when Mooney got to third, the third basemen, Rosario, and him exchanged words which eventually led to the benches clearing.
The RailCats and the Milkmen will meet again tomorrow for a rubber game slotted to start at 2:10 p.m. It’ll be Justing Sinibaldi (4-4, 2.79 ERA) on the mound for Gary and Angel Ventura (5-7 (2.65 ERA) toeing the rubber for Milwaukee.
Sunday’s game has a lot in store including a bike-an-inning giveaway presented by NW Indiana Partners for Clean Air, pregame catch on the field brought to you by Beacon Hill Dental and it’s another Times Family Sunday, meaning $15 for two adults and four kids.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com or by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
By Jared Shlensky