Early Runs Not Enough for RailCats in Loss to Goldeyes
by Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Gary, IN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes matched every punch the Gary SouthShore RailCats threw at them throughout their nine-inning bout as they grabbed a decisive 9-4 win.
Winnipeg came back from an early deficit and shut down a late rally and outlasted a RailCats team that refused to go away to secure the first two games of the series at The Steel Yard.
In the early stages, it looked as though the RailCats were on their way to a big win themselves. After making two consecutive outs to begin their first turn at-bat, Jonathan Engelmann drew a walk and stole second base, advancing to third on a resulting throwing error. Jesus Marriaga capitalized by doubling him home, and Victor Nova’s double tacked on another run. LG Castillo then singled to put runners on the corners, and after getting caught in a rundown, Nova snuck home on a delayed steal to cap off a three-run first inning.
As the Goldeyes came up to bat in the top of the second, they began to chip away at their early deficit. A Max Murphy leadoff home run and Justin Thompson sacrifice fly plated a pair, and Winnipeg found themselves behind by just one run.
They got their offense going once again in the top of the third as they struck with two outs to level the contest. Raul Navarro legged out a bunt single and Murphy doubled in back-to-back plate appearances, placing the Goldeyes on equal footing with the RailCats at three apiece through the matchup’s first third.
It did not take long for Winnipeg to pull ahead as they came up to hit in the top of the fourth. A leadoff walk and base hit positioned base runners on first and third, and Deon Stafford, Jr.’s one-out single broke the deadlock, giving the Goldeyes a 4-3 lead.
Once again, the Goldeyes continued to swing the bats well in the top of the fifth as they gained separation from the RailCats. David Washington launched a two-run home run to increase Winnipeg’s advantage to three.
Not looking to go down without a fight, Gary SouthShore hit the comeback trail in the bottom of the seventh inning. Nate Scantlin stood on first base with two outs, and Michael Woodworth ripped a double to the right-field wall to chase him home. Engelman and Marriaga followed up by drawing walks to load the bases, but the RailCats could not capitalize as a foul pop out got Winnipeg out of trouble.
With the momentum at their backs, the Goldeyes got right back to work at the dish in the top of the ninth. Though Marriaga threw a base runner out attempting to go from first to third on a single, Murphy came through once again and hit a three-run home run to power Winnipeg to a five-run cushion heading into the bottom of the frame.
Needing just three outs, Tasker Strobel worked around early traffic on the base paths to get the final three outs and ensure the win.
The RailCats and Goldeyes take to the field at The Steel Yard one last time tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for Breast Cancer Awareness Day. All the action will be streamed on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.