Griffin, RailCats Bullpen Muzzle Saltdogs, 2-0
GARY, IND. — 5.1 innings on one-hit ball from David Griffin in his second professional start and 3.2 scoreless innings from the Gary bullpen led the RailCats to a 2-0 shutout win over the Lincoln Saltdogs (40-57) on a windy Saturday evening at U.S. Steel Yard. The Gary pitching staff yielded a season-best-tying two hits (both singles) and never allowed a baserunner to reach past second base in a game that lasted just two hours, 21 minutes. Saturday’s victory also snapped Gary’s three-game losing streak and is the RailCats first series-opening win in its last four series.
Hayden Schilling drove in the first run of the series with an RBI triple in the sixth. Marcus Mooney ended Brad Thoutt’s run of 12 straight batters retired with a bloop single to left-center with one out before Schilling brought Mooney around to score with a triple into the right field corner.
Gary (38-59) added the game’s final run in the seventh. Ray Jones singled to center to begin the inning before moving up to second a sacrifice bunt from Tommy McCarthy. Two batters later, Jackson Smith scored Jones with a two-out, opposite-field RBI double for his first RBI of the season.
Griffin yielded just one hit, a one-out single from Christian Ibarra in the top of the sixth, walked two batters and struck out a pair in his first home start. Andrew Cartier (3-0) picked up his second straight win after retiring both batters he faced to end the top of the sixth while Ryan Thurston (8) recorded his team-leading eighth hold with two hitless innings of relief. Sandy Lugo (10) faced the minimum in a scoreless top of the ninth to secure the win with his team-high 10th save and hasn’t allowed a run in eight straight innings.
Thoutt (0-2) was charged with the loss despite allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk over a season-high 6.2 innings. The rookie right-hander struck out four and retired 16 of the first 18 hitters he faced.
Gary and Lincoln resume its series on Sunday night at 6:10 p.m. RailCats’ left-hander Trevor Lubking (5-11, 4.74) makes his league-high 24th start while the Saltdogs have yet to announce their starter for the middle game of the series.
Sunday’s game is Grandparents Night and the final Fireworks Super Show of the Season. Sunday’s contest is also the last Times Family Sunday and Sunday FUNday. Sunday Funday includes $5 cocktails, pre-game catch on the field, presented by Beacon Hill Dental, and Kids Run the Bases. The Times Family Sunday special includes $15 tickets for two adults and up to four kids via the NWI Times paper or social media outlets.
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