Charle Rosario Tightens Screws on Wingnuts; RailCats win 4-2
Saturday night had the makings of a real pitchers’ duel as Charle Rosario and Tim Brown squared off against one another. They did not disappoint as a close game came down to a big hit by Colin Willis in the seventh that gave the Gary Southshore RailCats the 4-2 victory over the Wichita Wingnuts. That extended the RailCats win streak to five-games.
This was a great pitchers’ duel from the start. Through the first two innings Brown and Rosario were in complete command, pitching quickly and keeping their opponent off balance. Rosario retired the side in order in the first, but issued two walks to start the second. Coolly he got a fly ball and then induced a double-play to end the threat.
Brown also retired the side in order in the first and found himself in trouble in the second as well. He gave up back-to-back singles to start the second but then struck out Jaime Del Valle before inducing a double-play of his own.
Into the third the game remained scoreless, but both teams would plate a run in the inning. In the top half of the frame, Leo Vargas singled with one out and Christian Stringer followed with a double into right-center that scored Vargas all the way from first to put Wichita on top.
The RailCats responded right away, using the same script that Wichita employed. Jarred Mederos singled with one out and Colin Willis followed with a double into center that scored Mederos to tie the game at one.
The Wichita Wingnuts got right back on top in the top of the fourth. T.J. Mittelstaedt led off the inning and fell behind quickly 1-2. He then fouled off a pitch to stay alive before drilling a shot down the right field line that stayed just fair for his 15th homer of the year. That put the Wingnuts up 2-1.
It would stay that way as Brown cruised following the third inning run. He gave up two hits to start the fourth, but got a double-play and a ground out to end the inning with no runners scoring. He would allow just one more hit through the next two frames as he worked expeditiously to set down Gary.
In the seventh, the Gary Southshore RailCats would finally get back on the board. Del Valle and Elbert Devarie started the inning off with back-to-back singles. John Holland then laid down a perfect bunt that moved both runners into scoring position. It looked like the home team was in a great position, but Brown got a big out when Mederos grounded to third and Zack Cox came home to get the lead runner. That put runners at the corners with two outs. Time for a big hit by Willis, who delivered a huge hit down the left field line that scored both runners and gave Gary their first lead of the game. A lead they would not surrender it.
In the eighth they would extend their lead to two. Chase Harris singled with one out and then stole second base. Two batters later, Alex Crosby laid down a perfect two-out bunt that rolled all the way to the bag for a base hit. Harris came around to score and it was 4-2 Gary Southshore.
In the ninth, Matt Chavez singled with one out, and Santiago Rodriguez came on looking to close it out for the RailCats. With one pitch, he induced a double-play to end the game for his second save of the season.
Rosario (9-3) earned the win. He went 7-innings, allowing 5-hits, 2-walks and 2-earned runs. He struck out 5. That gives the right-hander five wins in a row.
Willis was 3-4 with 2-RBI for the RailCats, Crosby was also 3-4 and he drove in a run. Mittelstaedt finished 2-3 with a run and an RBI for Wichita.
Tomorrow’s game is an afternoon tilt scheduled for 2:10. Todd Kibby (1-4, 6.30) goes for the Wichita Wingnuts. He will be opposed by Richard Castillo (5-6, 3.39).
By Robert Pannier