Garcia, Phillips Combine to Stymy Monarchs
By Tony Pasquesi, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Gary, IN – In front of 5,000 raucous school children on the team’s annual School Day Game, the Gary Southshore RailCats profited from excellent pitching and took down the Kansas City Monarchs.
For the fourth consecutive day, ‘Cats starting pitching tore through opposition bats. This time, it was Nick Garcia‘s turn to dominate. He worked five scoreless innings of three-hit ball which included a season-high four strikeouts.
After working a three-up, three-down first inning, Garcia immediately got all the run support he needed in his team’s first turn at-bat. The RailCats loaded the bases on a pair of walks to Michael Woodworth and Alec Olund as well as a Jackson Smith single, the first of his two hits on the day.
Ray Jones stepped up to the plate and capitalized on the opportunity by ripping a first-pitch fastball over the jumping second baseman, Darnell Sweeney, into right-center field to score the game’s first run. Tom Walraven then put the ball in play and scored Smith from third on a groundout. That later proved to be the winning run.
Though that was all the offense could they muster, the Gary SouthShore bats were anything but dormant.
M.J. Rookard and Daniel Lingua each added singles to start the second inning. Woodworth reached base safely twice himself by adding a base hit in the seventh.
Smith and Jones each supplied two of the team’s eight hits, and Alec Olund supplied the lone extra-base hit of the game, a double in the fifth inning.
The defense was on display once more as they brought their A-game to The Steel Yard. Chris Burgess dug multiple balls out of the dirt for outs, and Olund gunned down the would-be game-tying run in Casey Gillaspie at third for his second outfield assist on the year in the seventh inning.
Aaron Phillips entered in the sixth inning and shut the door on the Monarchs throughout his four-inning outing. He allowed just one run on four hits while striking out two to lock down a 12-out save, his first in the American Association.
The RailCats take to the field tomorrow at a more regular time, 6:45 p.m., against the Kansas City Monarchs for game three of this four-game series. Ryan Zimmerman and Tony Pasquesi have the play-by-play call on aabaseball.tv and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.