After dropping the first two games of their series against the St. Paul Saints, the Gary Southshore RailCats got 3.1 outstanding innings of relief out of their bullpen, holding off a late rally by St. Paul in their 4-2 victory. A Tillman Pugh home run in the seventh gave Gary the lead for good, as the Saints left 10 men on base.
The game got off on the right foot for the Gary Southshore RailCats when they would grab a run in the top of the first against Saints starter Trevor Foss. Tillman Pugh reached on a single to right field with one down and advanced to second on an error. With first and second and one down, Colin Willis hit a hard ground ball to second that Zach Walters could not field, allowing Willis to reach on a base hit and Pugh to score to put the RailCats on top, 1-0.
The lead did not last long, as St. Paul would put up two in the bottom of the first. Max Murphy let off the frame with a base hit and Kyle Barrett followed with his fourth home run of the season, putting the Saints on top 2-1.
This game was a real nail-biter from there. Neither team was able to find the magical formula that would plate another run, that is until the sixth. Foss retired the first two batters of the inning, but walked Reggie Wilson to keep the inning alive. Andy DeJesus followed with a base hit into center that moved Wilson to third, and he scored when Will Savage hit a ball just out of the reach of Saints’ shortstop Joey Wong. That tied the game at two.
The game did not stay tied for long, however. In the top the seventh, Mike Devine came on for St. Paul and was greeted by a home run off the bat of Pugh, sailing over the wall in right-center for his sixth home run of the year. That put Gary Southshore back on top.
They would add an insurance run on top of the ninth. Savage started the inning with a base hit and moved to third on an error. He scored on a passed ball to make it 4-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, Adam Quintana came on looking to close out the game. He retired the first two batters, but Wong reached on a single to keep the game alive. Murphy followed with a ground ball that hit off the glove of the shortstop and into left field for a hit, and Barrett then walked to load the bases. That brought Burt Reynolds to the plate who worked the count to 2-2 before Quintana dropped a beautiful curveball for strike three to end the game. That gave Quintana his sixth save of the season.
Tillman Pugh finished 2-4 with 2-runs and an RBI for the RailCats. Kyle Barrett was 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI for St. Paul.
The final contest of this four-game set is scheduled for Sunday evening. Alex Gunn(7-5, 4.43) will take to the hill for Gary Southshore. He will be opposed by Jake Matthys (5-7, 4.71). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05.
By Robert Pannier