Nova Drives in Four as RailCats End Skid
by Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Oconomowoc, WI – The Gary SouthShore RailCats used their early offense to power their 8-5 victory over the Lake Country DockHounds.
It did not take long for the bats to get going. After making the first two outs in succession, LG Castillo drew a walk and Jesus Marriaga singled to place runners on the corners. Victor Nova capitalized by launching a three-run home run, putting the RailCats ahead 3-0 early.
Two innings later, the RailCats strung another three runs together to extend their early lead. Michael Woodworth’s leadoff double gave Castillo a runner in scoring position, and he came through by connecting on a two-run home run. Marriaga then singled and stole a base for Sam Abbott to drive him in on his single, and the ‘Cats found themselves up 6-0.
Lake Country got a run back in the bottom of the fourth and loaded the bases with just one out, but starting pitcher Adam Heidenfelder kept his composure in a tough situation. He fanned back-to-back batters to strand three DockHounds on base and maintain the RailCats advantage at five runs.
The RailCats rewarded Heidenfelder’s efforts on the mound with another run of support in the fifth. Marriaga singled, Daniel Lingua walked, and the two combined for a double steal to position two runners in scoring position. Abbott’s groundout plated Marriaga shortly afterward, and Gary SouthShore restored their edge at six.
Lake Country, though, refused to go down without a fight. They struck for two in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on another the next inning, but Aaron Phillips came out of the bullpen to halt their momentum. He stranded runners on the corners to preserve Gary SouthShore’s lead at three runs heading into the final three frames.
Just like they did for Heidenfelder, the RailCats lineup repaid Phillips by adding another run in the top of the seventh. Castillo doubled and Marriaga drew a walk to kick off the inning, and Nova’s single brought Castillo home for his fourth run batted in, providing a key insurance run in the late stages.
Phillips went back to work in the bottom of the seventh and tossed a perfect inning before Reyson Santos navigated around a leadoff single to throw a scoreless eighth. Even as the DockHounds manufactured a run in the bottom of the ninth, Julio Vivas stayed calm on the mound as he secured the final three outs and locked down the win.
The RailCats return to Wisconsin Brewing Company Park tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. for a rubber match against the DockHound in the series finale. All the action can be streamed on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.