Goldeyes Pound RailCats to End Playoff Run: RailCats Round-Up
While a cat may have nine lives, the Gary Southshore RailCats just ran out of their last one. The RailCats fell 18-5 Sunday night to be eliminated from the chase for the Central Division championship.
While Gary had high hopes coming into the game, they were quickly dashed. The Goldeyes opened with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, and never looked back. RailCats starter Stephen Bougher lasted just one inning, giving up three hits, two walks and three runs before being replaced.
Gary got a run of their own in the third when Henry Wrigley singled home Daniel Pulfer. However, reliever Kagen Hopkins could not keep the Goldeyes off the board, giving up a run in the third and fourth to leave Indiana’s team trailing 5-1. It went all downhill from there.
Ethan Gibbons entered the sixth for his second inning of relief, but he would last just four batters before being relieved. Two singles and a hit batsmen loaded the bases, and Jake Blackwood sent two of them home with a double to extend the lead to 7-1.
Andy Loomis took over, but he could not end the trouble. He retired the first two batters, but then gave up Reggie Abercrombie’s 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot to make the score 9-1, and the rout was on. Two batters later Josh Mazzola hit his 16th of the year. Mazzola has just been on-fire, hitting home runs in four of his last five games, and adding 11 RBI in that span. Loomis finally got the last out, but seven runs were in. The lead was now 12-1.
Gary did rally for four in the top of the seventh. Daniel Pulfer singled to score Drew Muren and one batter later Muren scored on a fielder’s choice by Zac Mitchell. Josh Romanski drove in the final two runs when he plated Pulfer and Mitchell, and the score was 12-5. That was as close as they would get.
Winnipeg scored four of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Tyler Kuhn singled to score a run and Casey Haerther followed with a three-run home run, his 12th of the year, and the Goldeyes led 16-5.
Winnipeg added a little more salt to the wound when they scored two more in the bottom of the eighth. Luis Alen drove in one of the runs and Blackwood added his fifth RBI of the game in the inning. Blackwood added four runs and four hits, raising his average to .319.
He was not the only one who had a huge night for the Goldeyes. Kuhn had two hits, two runs and three RBI, and Haerther added two hits and four RBI. Ryan Bollinger earned the win to move his record to 3-o in four starts.
With the victory not only did the Goldeyes eliminate Gary, but they made the Lincoln Saltdogs the Central Division winners, meaning the two teams will face each other in the first round of the playoffs. The Saltdogs may be thankful for Winnipeg’s assistance, but the Goldeyes know that Lincoln will be coming looking to knock them off. Game 1 beings Wednesday night.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA