Pair of Threes Deals Dogs Victory over RailCats
by Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Gary, IN — Though the Gary SouthShore RailCats managed to hang around in the early goings, the Chicago Dogs showed exactly why they occupy the top spot in the East Division from the fifth inning onward. Their offense produced seven runs in their final five turns at-bat to secure an 8-2 win.
For the second consecutive night, the Dogs kickstarted their bats in the very first inning. Charlie Tilson led off by singling on the game’s second pitch, and he advanced 90 feet shortly thereafter on a wild pitch. A groundout moved him up to third before K.C. Hobson scored him on a groundout of his own to put the Dogs in front 1-0.
As they looked to respond, the RailCats came up with four hits throughout the first three frames, continually applying pressure to the Dogs defense. However, starting pitcher A.J. Kullman rose to the occasion each time, and he stranded four ‘Cats on base to keep them off the board.
After both teams traded three-up, three-down fourths, the Dogs reignited their lineup in the top of the fifth. With the help of three errors, four stolen bases, one walk, and three hits, the Dogs struck for three runs, extending their lead to four.
Just one inning later, the Chicago lineup got back to work. Three straight hits, including a leadoff double, plated one, and Ryan Lidge’s two-out, two-run single enabled the Dogs to generate another trio of tallies, placing them firmly in the driver’s seat ahead 7-0.
After six scoreless frames, the RailCats finally broke through against the Chicago bullpen in the bottom of the seventh. Jesus Marriaga and Zach Racusin reached on a walk and hit-by-pitch respectively, and they both moved up one base on a groundout. Alec Olund then came through by grounding a two-run single through the middle of the infield to cut his team’s deficit to five runs at 7-2.
Following the offense’s revival, Ryan Campbell dominated on the mound in his second appearance on the South Shore. Dating back to the end of the sixth inning, he retired each of the last seven Dogs he faced, striking out four, to hold their offense in check.
Nevertheless, once Campbell departed, the Dogs got going again at the plate. A walk and base hit began the top of the ninth, but a double play quickly put a damper on a strong start to the inning. As a runner stood on third, a wild pitch allowed him to come home, increasing the Chicago advantage to six.
Not wanting to go down without a fight, the RailCats stirred in the bottom of the ninth. Marriaga and Sam Abbott singled while Racusin walked to load the bases with one out, but Dogs pitching settled down to secure the final two outs and walk away with a victory.
The RailCats and Dogs face off tomorrow at The Steel Yard for the series finale at 6:45 p.m. All the action will be streamed on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Network through the Mixlr app.