Eric Morrell Debut Spoiled as RailCats Fall in 12
GARY, IND. — Five shutout innings from Eric Morell in his American Association debut and an early 1-0 lead wasn’t enough for Gary as the RailCats fell to the Sioux Falls Canaries, 2-1, in front of a season-high 3,407 fans at U.S. Steel Yard on the first Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday of the season. Morel signed with Gary before Friday’s series opener and yielded just two hits, two walks and a hit batsman while striking out four.
Sioux Falls (5-3) took the lead for good and extended their winning streak to four games with the final run of the evening in the 12th. Adrian Nieto reached first on a one-out infield single before stealing second. Two batters later, Kevin Taylor delivered the game-winning run with an RBI single to center.
Gary (3-4) took the opening lead of the series with a two-out run in the fourth. Andy De Jesus drew a leadoff walk before advancing to second on a groundout from Randy Santiesteban. Two batters later, John Price Jr. delivered an RBI single to center, scoring De Jesus from second for the RailCats’ only run of the night.
Sioux Falls scored their first run in the seventh. Andrew Ely was hit to begin the inning before Graham Low recorded his first professional hit in his second professional plate appearance, giving the Canaries runners on first and second. Mike Hart then reached on a fielder’s choice after failing to advance both runners into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt attempt. With runners on first and second and one out, Brett Vertigan plated Low from second with an RBI single to right.
Sandy Lugo tossed a scoreless sixth inning in his team-high third relief appearance while Felix Carvallo allowed a run on two hits and a hit batsman in one inning out of the bullpen. Justin Sinibaldi made his home debut and tossed three scoreless innings for the ‘Cats.
Kaleb Fontenot (0-1) recorded his first Independent Professional Baseball (IPBF) loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th. The right-hander went two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out a pair in his second appearance in as many nights.
Luis Pollorena (1-0) recorded the win with a scoreless bottom of the 11th and 12th for the Canaries. The southpaw retired six of the seven batters he faced, two via strikeouts, in his fourth appearance of the season.
Keaton Steele recorded a no-decision in his second start of the year and his first against his former team. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk while striking out a season-high nine batters.
Gary and Sioux Falls resume their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. Southpaw Lars Liguori (1-1, 11.37) makes his team-high third start for the ‘Cats against Canaries’ left-hander Spencer Herrmann (0-1, 3.00) in the middle game of the series.
Saturday’s game is the first AccessAbilities Signature Saturday of the season, Bark in the Park, presented by McAfee Animal Hospital, and Schererville, Griffith and Highland Community Night, presented by Fifth Third Bank. Saturday’s game also features a free dog bandana giveaway to the first 200 dogs, presented by McAfee Animal Hospital, and both kids and dogs get to run the bases after the game.
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.
by Jared Shlensky