RailCats Big Eighth Propels Team Past RedHawks
by Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Fargo, ND – After struggling to generate much offense through the first seven innings at Newman Outdoor Field, the Gary SouthShore RailCats got their best swings off in the late stages to take down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 6-3.
The ‘Cats strung together 16 hits in the series finale, including six in the final two innings, to ensure they left the state of North Dakota with the win.
It did not take long, though, for the RedHawks to jump out to an early lead. Their very first batter, Peter Maris, launched a home run to right field, giving Fargo-Moorhead a 1-0 advantage after an inning of play.
However, the RailCats were quick to respond. In the top of the second, Tom Walraven ripped a one-out single to put a runner on base for Sam Abbott, and he blasted a two-run long ball to place the RailCats in front 2-1.
The home run marks Abbott’s 16th of the season, and that ties him with Cristian Guerrero’s 2008 total for the second most in a single season in franchise history.
For the next five innings, starter Chris Erwin made that one-run edge stand up. He allowed just one hit and one walk over that span, striking three RedHawks out as well to earn another quality start.
Once the seventh inning rolled around, the RedHawks found their way back into the ballgame. A base hit and walk positioned runners on first and second, and a sacrifice bunt led to a throwing error which enabled the tying run to score. Though the next batter popped out, another single loaded the bases with one out, and the go-ahead run stood just 90 feet away.
The RailCats then turned to Julio Vivas out of the bullpen to keep the game tied, and with the RedHawks on the brink of breaking it open, he unleashed his best stuff. A strikeout and pop out stranded the bases loaded, giving Gary SouthShore a momentum boost heading into the top of the eighth.
Having escaped a big inning, the ‘Cats erupted for four runs in their next turn at bat. Jackson Smith and Daniel Lingua led off with back-to-back singles, and Nate Scantlin’s base hit brought Smith home, moving Gary SouthShore back in front. Michael Woodworth lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to plate an insurance run, and Jesus Marriaga banged a double off the left field wall to tally another pair and push the ‘Cats up by four needing just six outs to secure the result.
Vivas went back out to pitch a scoreless eighth, but following a pitching change, the RedHawks got back to work in the bottom of the ninth. A walk and a single got the inning started, and following a strikeout, another knock loaded the bases with one away. A sacrifice fly got Fargo-Moorhead within three at the cost of the second out, and two batters later, Yeison Medina coaxed a fielder’s choice to lock down the win.
The RailCats head to Impact Field tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. to face the Chicago Dogs for their final road series of the 2022 season. All the action will be streamed on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.