Gary Southshore RailCats Add New Life With Late Rally to Win
They say that a cat has nine lives, but the Gary Southshore RailCats proved that these cats just need eight innings – eight innings to rally to beat the Quebec Capitales that is. The Can-Am League team jumped out to a 5-0 lead, before the RailCats were able to mount an amazing rally that saw them score three runs in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.
Chris Cummins started for Gary, but he struggled early on, allowing two first inning runs against the Capitales. With one out, Yordan Manduley continued his torrid start with an infield single. Alexei Bell followed with a single that moved the runner to second. Kalian Sams came to bat and lined the third straight hit allowed by Cummins into center field to score Manduley. Josue Peley brought home the second run with a sacrifice fly that scored Bell and Quebec had the early two run lead.
They would extend that lead in the third against Cummins, when three more runs crossed the plate. Jonathan Malo singled and two batters later Bell walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Cummings got Sams to pop out to the second baseman for the second out, which brought Peley to the plate. He took the first pitch the Gary starter threw and ripped it over the right-center field fence for a three-run home run. That was Peley’s first home run of the season and made the score 5-0.
It looked like the Capitales were going to have the kind of offensive onslaught they had put up in Game 1 of this series, but these Cats know how to scratch and claw their way to get back into games. That began right away when the RailCats got a run back in the bottom of the third. Roger Bernal ripped a sharp single to get the rally started and moved to second on an attempted bunt by Ryan Brockett. Quebec starter Mark Hardy got to the ball, but his throw to nail Brockett was not in time, and the Gary Southshore RailCats had a rally going. Two batters later Zac Mitchell singled to score Bernal to cut the deficit to four.
Following the run Hardy allowed, the righty retired the RailCats in order over the next two innings. In the sixth he would find his day was over, however. Mitchell singled with one out and advanced to third on a base hit by Drew Martinez. J.D. Pulfer doubled to score Mitchell, and Taylor followed with a sacrifice fly to score Martinez. That would be it with Hardy. Ryan Leach relieved and closed out the inning, but the RailCats were within two.
Leach would keep the Gary bats in check in the seventh, but in the eighth the RailCats would take the lead for the first time in the game. Jon Jones and Mitchell led off with back-to-back singles. That would end Leach’s day.
Jamaine Cotton took over for the Capitales but he was not able to close the door. Drew Martinez greeted Cotton with a single that scored Jones. Two batters later Sam Lind reached on an error by Cotton that plated Mitchell. Michael Vaughn’s single scored Martinez and the Gary Southshore RailCats had their first lead of the game.
In the ninth Jessie Snodgrass came in to close out the game. Seven pitches is all it took to retire the Capitales in order and the RailCats had the amazing 6-5 victory. Snodgrass earned his first save of the season. Shawn O’Neill (1-0) earned the win with a perfect eighth inning of relief. Cotton (0-1) took the loss.
The Gary Southshore RailCats rapped out 13 hits, three of which came off the bat of Mitchell. Mitchell also scored two runs and drove in another. Peley had a hit and four RBI for Quebec.
By Robert Pannier