RailCats Drop Double-Header to Dogs
ROSEMONT, ILL. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats were swept by the Chicago Dogs in Wednesday’s doubleheader after getting walked-off 8-7 in game one before dropping game two 8-2. Following Wednesday’s losses, the RailCats have lost four straight games and are a season-worst 11 games behind the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for first place in the North Division.
Leading 7-5 heading into the bottom of seventh in game one, Gary turned to their closer Felix Carvallo for the final three outs. However, Chicago scored three runs in the frame to walk-off over the RailCats, 8-7. Keon Barnum pulled a single down the right field line to begin the inning before getting pinch-run for by Harrison Smith. Victor Roache then doubled to left, giving the Dogs runners on second and third. Mitchell Kranson followed Roache with an RBI groundout, scoring Smith from third and cutting the RailCats lead to one. A wild pitch from Carvallo brought home Roache from third to tie the game. Jordan Dean then doubled before Gustavo Pierre was intentionally walked. Two batters later, David Olmedo-Barrera delivered the game-winning run with an RBI infield single, bringing Dean around to score from second on a ball that never left the infield.
Gary (21-28) jumped out a 4-0 lead with a four-top of the first in game one after sending nine to the plate in the frame. MJ Rookard, who signed his first professional baseball contract before the doubleheader, walked in his first professional plate appearance before moving up to second on an infield single from Will Savage. Colin Willis followed Savage with a walk before Ray Jones brought in Rookard from third on an RBI groundout to the right side of the infield. Danny De La Calle increased the RailCats lead to three with a two-out, two-run double off the top of the wall in left-center field before Andy De Jesus brought De La Calle around to score from second on an RBI single to center.
However, Chicago (27-22) countered with a four-run bottom of the first to tie the game. Olmedo-Barrera homered to left-center field to begin the frame before Trey Vavra drew a one-out walk. Barnum then doubled down the left field line, giving the Dogs two runners in scoring position. Roache followed Barnum with a three-run home run to left-center for the final runs of the inning.
The RailCats jumped back in front by three with a three-run top of the second. Alex Crosby increased his hitting streak to 10 games with a single to center before Rookard recorded his first professional hit and RBI with a triple to left-center, scoring Crosby all the way from first. Savage put Gary in front 6-4 with a sacrifice fly to left. Jones and De La Calle singled consecutively with two outs before De Jesus drove in his second run with another RBI single.
The Dogs trimmed the RailCats lead to 7-5 with another run in the bottom of the second. Tony Rosselli singled to center with one out before Olmedo-Barrera doubled down into right field corner, giving Chicago runners on second and third. Edwin Arroyo followed Olmedo-Barrera with an RBI groundout to second, bringing home Rosselli from third.
Carvallo (1-2) was charged with his second blown save and second loss in game one after failing to complete the save in the bottom of the seventh. The southpaw allowed three runs on four hits and a walk over 0.2 innings.
Ryan Thurston (6) recorded his team-high sixth hold and extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to six after retiring three of the four batters he faced in a scoreless bottom of the sixth in game one for the ‘Cats. Rich Maschei (2-1) retired seven of the nine batters he faced over 2.1 scoreless innings of relief in the win for the Dogs. The left-hander allowed two doubles and hit a batter while striking out a pair in game one.
Chicago took a 5-0 lead in game two with a five-run bottom of the third. Rey Gonzalez doubled to begin the frame before Arroyo moved him up to third with an opposite-field single. Vavra then ended the scoreless drought with a three-run homer over the netting beyond the left field wall on to Interstate 294. Barnum followed Vavra with his second homer of the day with an opposite-field shot to make it 4-0. Dean kept the inning going with a two-out single before scoring on Pierre’s RBI double down into the left field corner.
The Dogs increased their lead in game two to 8-0 with three more runs in the fourth. Gonzalez doubled for the second time to begin the frame before Olmedo-Barrera hit his second home run of the day. Arroyo and Vavra reached on back-to-back infield singles before Dean brought Arroyo around to score from second with a two-out RBI single to center.
Gary avoided being shutout with a run in the fifth in game two. Jones reached on a fielder’s choice before Marcus Mooney plated Jones with a two-out RBI down into the right field corner.
The RailCats added their final run in the sixth, trimming the Dogs lead to 8-2. Savage singled with one out before Tom Walraven brought Savage around to score all the way from first with a two-out RBI double down the left field line for the final run of the evening.
Seth Hougesen (0-1) was charged with his first professional loss in game two. The southpaw had his consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped at 9.1 to begin his pro career after allowing a career-high eight runs on 11 hits and a walk over three innings.
Frank Moscatiello tossed three scoreless innings of relief for Gary and retired the last seven batters he faced, the final four via strikeouts. The right-hander yielded just two hits, walked none and struck out a season-high six.
Jake Dahlberg (4-2) recorded his first Independent Professional Baseball (IPBF) complete-game victory after allowing just two runs over seven innings. The southpaw yielded four hits and two walks, retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced and struck out five.
Gary concludes their three-day, four-game series and season-high-tying 10-game road trip on Thursday against the Chicago Dogs at 6:05 p.m. RailCats southpaw Trevor Lubking (5-3, 3.97) makes his league-high 13th start against Dogs southpaw Austin Wright (2-5, 3.86) in the series finale.
The RailCats return home to U.S. Steel Yard for the start of their season long 10-game homestand on Friday, July 12 at 7:10 p.m. vs Cleburne. Friday’s game is Kevin “Bacon” Night, and includes bacon themed concession specials. The series-opener also serves as Nurses Appreciation Night, with postgame fireworks presented by Fifth Third Bank.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at RailCatsBaseball.com or by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
By Jared Shlensky