Jose Sermo Propels RailCats to 3-1 Victory Over St. Paul Saints
A slugfest Wednesday night turned into a pitchers’ duel on Thursday as the Gary Southshore RailCats Travis McGee squared off against the St. Paul Saints Robert Coe. Both pitchers were masterful, but Jose Sermo’s triple wound up being the difference in the game, as the RailCats won 3-1.
For five innings neither team was able to generate anything against the two starters. McGee allowed five hits and two walks through the first five frames, but the Gary starter’s defense came up with big plays to keep the Saints off the scoreboard.
Coe was pitching equally as well. Coming off of his big two-hit complete game against Lincoln in his last start, the St. Paul starter was flat out dominating. Coe gave up a hit and a walk in the first inning, then lone singles in the second and third before retiring the RailCats in order in the fourth and fifth. In the sixth the run finally came to an end.
Jon Jones doubled with one out. Two batters later Sermo came to the plate and worked the count to 3-1. He then ripped a ball to the wall in center field that brought Jones all the way around to score. The left fielder’s error allowed Sermo to come in to score and it was 2-0. One swing of the bat had completely changed the game.
In the top of the seventh the St. Paul Saints got one of those runs back. Jessie Snodgrass had relieved in the sixth and had retired the visitors after giving up a one out double and walk. In the seventh he got the first two hitters out, but Alonzo Harris beat out an infield hit and moved to second on an error. Willie Argo then delivered a triple of his own that easily scored the speedy Argo to cut the lead in half.
In the bottom of the eighth the RailCats extended their lead back to two again, and it was the combination of Jones and Sermo that made that happen. Jones singled to center against Mikey Mehlich to start the inning and, after stealing second, scored when Sermo delivered a base hit to right field. That made it 3-1, and would be all the runs either team would get.
Andy Loomis came in for Gary in the ninth and, despite walking two batters, he retired the side for his 13th save of the season. Snodgrass (4-4) earned the victory. Coe (6-3) took the loss.
The St. Paul Saints only managed eight hits, with Harris and Argo each collecting two of them. Jones finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored, and Sermo was 2-4 with a run and 2 RBI.
By Robert Pannier