Garcia Flusters Canaries in RailCats Victory
By Ryan Zimmerman, Gary Southshore RailCats
Sioux Falls, SD – The Gary SouthShore RailCats took control in the middle innings and never looked back as they grabbed a 5-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries.
A combination of streaky hitting and masterful pitching held a potent Sioux Falls offense in check as the ‘Cats pulled out their second win at Sioux Falls Stadium in as many days.
Like they did yesterday, the Canaries took the lead in the very first inning. After the first two batters made outs, Gavin LaValley took the first pitch he saw over the left-field wall to spot the Canaries a run and take a 1-0 lead.
This time around, though, the RailCats responded just a couple of frames later. In just his second game back, Jesus Marriaga made sure his first hit of the year was a meaningful one as he crushed a leadoff home run to left field to bring the two teams level at one.
In their next turn at-bat, the RailCats lineup got right back to work. Following a leadoff flyout, Zach Racusin drew a walk, and Alec Olund immediately doubled him home. Marriaga then tripled to plate another run before Tom Walraven legged out an infield single that pushed the RailCats ahead 4-1.
While his teammates provided the run support, Nick Garcia dominated on the mound. He pitched the longest outing of his career, tossing six innings of one-run ball while scattering eight hits. His eight strikeouts also set a new season-high en route to his third win of the year.
As soon as Garcia exited the contest, the Canaries struck back in the bottom of the seventh. Back-to-back singles placed runners on first and third with no outs, but the Gary SouthShore defense turned a double play to hold the scoring to just a single run.
The ‘Cats made that run up in the ninth inning to restore their three-run advantage. Olund worked a leadoff walk and stole second, forcing a wild throw that allowed him to reach third. Marriaga lifted a one-out sacrifice fly to score Olund and give Gary SouthShore a three-run cushion with three outs left to go.
Sioux Falls continued to battle in the late stages as they got the tying run to the plate with just one out. However, that was all they could muster as reliever Aaron Phillips coaxed a double play to finish the Canaries off and earn the save.
The RailCats and Canaries square off one final time at Sioux Falls Stadium tomorrow at 12:05 p.m. as Adam Heidenfelder (1-3, 2.95 ERA) takes on Tyler Garkow (0-1 12.15 ERA). All the action can be found on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network via the Mixlr app.