Sheaks Gem Spoiled by DockHounds Comeback
by Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Oconomowoc, WI – The Gary SouthShore RailCats found themselves six outs away from a shutout to clinch a series win, but the Lake Country DockHounds got their offense in gear late to claim a 2-1 win.
In the early stages, though, the RailCats jumped out to an early lead. LG Castillo jumped on a first-pitch fastball and sent it over the left field fence, and his second home run in as many games put Gary SouthShore up 1-0 in the very first inning.
From that point forward, starting pitcher John Sheaks took it upon himself to make that lead stand up. He proceeded to shut the DockHounds down throughout the next six innings, allowing just three hits and stranding three on base as he mowed through the opposition lineup.
Lake Country worked a one-out baserunner on a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the seventh, but catcher Thomas Greely stepped up to cut down the would-be tying run on the basepaths. He fired a strike to second base to catch a would-be base stealer in Daikan Yoh for the second out of the inning.
The next batter singled to prompt manager Lamarr Rogers to call on debutant reliever Joel Huertas to get them out of the inning, and it only took the lefty three pitches to prove his skipper right. A flyout to center field stranded the tying run on first base to keep the RailCats in front with two innings to go.
However, the DockHounds kicked their offense into gear to turn the game on its head in the bottom of the eighth. Two walks and a base hit loaded the bases with nobody out before a sacrifice fly tied the score at one. The next batter rolled a soft ground ball to second base, resulting in a fielder’s choice that plated the go-ahead run, placing Lake Country ahead 2-1 needing just three outs to secure the result.
Trailing for the first time, the RailCats could not muster any late-inning magic to work their way back into the contest. They went down in order in the top of the ninth as the DockHounds picked up the win.
The RailCats have a day off tomorrow, but they go back to work on Tuesday at 7:02 p.m. to begin a three-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field. All the action can be found on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.