RailCats Salvage Split with Saints
GARY, IND. —The Gary SouthShore RailCats split a two-game set on Saturday evening after losing to the St. Paul Saints, 5-4, in the resumption of Friday’s suspended game before hanging on to win Saturday’s originally scheduled game, 8-7.
The lights went out twice over a 30-minute span in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday at U.S. Steel Yard and was suspended with Gary trailing St. Paul, 5-3, with the bases loaded, one out and a 2-1 count on Chase Dawson. Dawson resumed his at-bat on Saturday against Saints left-hander Ken Frosch and delivered a sacrifice fly down the right field line, scoring Evan Marzilli from third. Saints closer Todd Van Steensel then replaced Frosch with runners on the corners and struck out Tom Walraven to end the rally.
Van Steensel (7) worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to complete the four-out save while former RailCat Jake Matthys (3-1) recorded the win. The right-hander went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five. Trevor Lubking (4-3) was charged with his second consecutive loss after allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven over 7+ innings.
St. Paul (18-9) took the opening lead of the series with a run in the top of the second. Brady Shoemaker drew a leadoff walk before Josh Allen advanced him up to third with a one-out double into the left field corner. Chesny Young followed Allen with an RBI groundout to first, scoring Shoemaker from third.
Gary (12-14) quickly countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Marzilli ended a 0-for-16 slide with a sharp single into right-center before stealing second. Wilfredo Gimenez followed with an RBI single to right, plating Marzilli from second.
The RailCats took their first lead of the series with another run in the third. Marcus Mooney recorded his second of three hits with a leadoff double down the third base line before Randy Santiesteban laid down a perfectly placed bunt single up the third base line, giving Gary runners on the corners. Colin Willis followed Santiesteban with an RBI groundout, bringing home Mooney from third.
The Saints tied the game with a run in the fourth. Blake Schmit singled to center to begin the inning before stealing second. Shoemaker then brought Schmit around to score with an RBI single to center.
St. Paul regained the lead with another run in the seventh. Josh Allen golfed a solo homer off the base of the batter’s eye in center field to put the Saints up 3-2.
The Saints went up 5-2 with a pair of two-out runs in the top of the eighth. Logan Skinner drew a five-pitch walk to begin the inning before Max Murphy singled to right, giving St. Paul runners on first and second. Dan Motl then reached on a fielder’s choice before Shoemaker was intentionally walked with two outs to load the bases. Devon Rodriguez then floated a two-run single into left-center, scoring both Murphy and Motl.
Gary added one run in the bottom of the eighth before Friday’s game was suspended. Willis drew a one-out walk before Marzilli was hit in the back. Gimenez then singled to left, loading the bases for Ray Jones. With one out and a 2-1 count, the lights went out the first time. After the lights turned back on 24 minutes later, Jones reached on an RBI infield single, scoring Willis. With a 2-1 count on the very next hitter Dawson, the lights went out a second time and the game was officially suspended.
The RailCats brought 10 to the plate in the bottom of the fourth and scored four runs to go up 4-0. Randy Santiesteban drew a leadoff walk before Willis brought him around to score with an RBI triple to right. Marzilli followed Willis with a walk before Gimenez brought home both Willis and Marzilli with a two-run double down the right field line. Jones then floated a single to right, moving Gimenez up to third before Dawson singled home Gimenez with an RBI single to right.
Alex Crosby gave Gary their biggest lead of the evening at five with a two-out RBI triple to right-center in the sixth. Mooney singled to center with two outs before Crosby brought him around to score with his first hit of the series.
Saint Paul took their only lead of game two with six runs in the top of the seventh after having the first eight of the inning reach base safely. Back-to-back singles from Jeremy Martinez and Allen gave the Saints runners on first and second before Young loaded the bases with an opposite-field single. Joey Wong got St. Paul on the board with a two-run single to center before Murphy drew a walk. Motl followed Murphy with an RBI single to center, scoring Young before Shoemaker was hit on the left forearm with the bases-loaded. Burt Reynolds followed Shoemaker with a two-run double to left-center, scoring both Murphy and Motl for the final runs of the frame.
Gary regained the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Santiesteban reached on an infield single to begin the inning before Willis popped out for out number one. Marzilli then walked before Gimenez was hit in the ribs to load the bases. Jones tied the game with an RBI single through the right side of the infield before Dawson put Gary up 8-6 with a two-run single off the back of Saints reliever Karch Kowalczyk.
The Saints trimmed the Gary lead to 8-7 with a two-out run in the eighth. Back-to-back singles from Young and Wong to begin the inning gave St. Paul runners on first and second. Murphy then bounced into a double play, advancing Young to third. Young scored the final run on a wild pitch following a dropped third strike to Motl.
Sandy Lugo (3) secured the win with the four-out save and hasn’t allow a run in a season-high 13.1 innings. The right-hander struck out four of the seven batters he faced, walked two and didn’t allow a single hit.
Jumpei Akanuma (1-0) recorded his first professional win after allowing three runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman over 1.2 innings. Justin Sininaldi tossed 3.2 shutout frames in just his second start while Ryan Thurston tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief and induced two of the RailCats season-high four double plays turned.
Kowalczyk (0-1) recorded the loss in his season debut. The right-hander allowed three runs on three hits, hit two batters and walked one over 1.1 innings of relief.
Gary and Saint Paul conclude their three-game series on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. RailCats’ left-hander Lars Liguori (3-2, 6.67) makes his league-high eighth start in the rubber game against Saints’ right-hander Ryan Zimmerman (1-1, 5.54).
Sunday’s game is another Times Family Sunday and Sunday FUNday. Sunday Funday includes $5 cocktails, pre-game catch on the field, presented by Beacon Hill Dental, and Kids Run the Bases. The Times Family Sunday special includes $15 tickets for two adults and up to four kids in NWI Times paper and social media outlets.
Sunday’s series finale is also St. John Community Night, presented by Fifth Third Bank, and features a Father’s Day Brunch and a team photo giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, presented by 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.