RailCats Shelled by Railroaders, 13-2
GARY, IND. — The Cleburne Railroaders scored 13 unanswered runs and defeated Gary, 13-2, in the first contest of the RailCats 10-day, 11-game homestand on Friday night at U.S. Steel Yard. Following Friday’s loss, Gary has lost a season-high-tying six straight games and are a season-worst nine games under .500 and 13 games out of first place.
Gary (21-30) scored two runs in the first inning for the second straight game to take a 2-0 lead. Alex Crosby increased his hitting streak to 12 games with a double down the right field line on the first pitch from Cleburne starter Jesus Sanchez. Two hitters later, Will Savage reached on an infield single, giving the ‘Cats runners on the corners. Tom Walraven then hit a comebacker right back to Sanchez on what looked to be a potential inning-ending double play ball, however, Sanchez skipped the throw past second base into center field, allowing Crosby to score, and advance Savage all the way up to third. 2019 American Association All-Star Colin Willis followed Walraven with an RBI single to right, bringing home Savage from third for the RailCats’ final run.
Cleburne (29-23) quickly countered with two runs in the second to even the contest. Grant Buck singled with one out before Hunter Clanin hit a two-run home run halfway up the net beyond the left field wall. Clanin’s homer was his sixth of the year and the Railroaders’ first runs of the series.
The Railroaders extended their lead to two with two more runs in the fifth. Chase Simpson walked with one out before John Nester brought Simpson around to score with a ground-rule double down the left field line. Ryan Brett then delivered the final run of the inning with an RBI double to the left-center gap, plating Nester.
Cleburne took an 8-2 lead with four more runs in the sixth. Nick Rotola walked with one out before former RailCat KC Huth reached on an infield single. Daniel Robertson was then hit in the left shoulder to load the bases before American Association All-Star Zach Nehrir cleared the bases with a three-double down into the left field corner. Two batters later, Nester brought home the final run of the inning with an RBI fielder’s choice.
The Railroaders took a 12-2 advantage with four more runs in sixth. Buck and Clanin singled consecutively to begin the inning before Rotola walked to load the bases. Huth was then hit to back bring home the first run of the inning before Robertson drew a bases-loaded walk. A wild pitch from Robbie Coursel allowed the third run of the inning to score before Nester drove in the last of his three runs with another RBI fielder’s choice.
Cleburne took their biggest lead of the night at 13-2 with the game’s final run in the ninth. Nehrir singled to begin the inning before Brett was hit two batters later. Buck delivered the final run of the game with a two-out RBI single to right.
Andrew Spinnenweber signed his first professional baseball contract with Gary before Friday’s series opener and recorded a no-decision in the “opener” role. The recent United State Merchant Marine Academy alum went two innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out one.
Nick Floyd (0-1) was charged with his first professional loss in his first appearance since coming off the 7-Day Disabled List on Thursday. The Elkhart, Ind., native went three innings out of the bullpen, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three.
Coursel made his first appearance at home since re-signing with Gary for the second on Thursday. The Michigan City, Ind., native went the four innings, allowing a career-high nine runs on seven hits, five walks and four hit batsmen while striking out three.
Sanchez (6-2) recorded his second consecutive win and fourth straight quality start in the win. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out three over six innings. Braden Pearson retired all six batters he faced, three via strikeouts, in two hitless innings of relief while Daniel Hurtado worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth to secure the win in his first appearance against his former club.
Gary continues their 10-day, 11-game homestand on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. against Cleburne. The RailCats send right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (1-4, 3.56) to the mound in the middle game of the series while the Railroaders have yet to announce their starter.
Saturday’s game is another AccessAbilities Signature Saturday and Kids Run the Bases, is an Autism Sensory Game, presented by AccessAbilities, and INFEAT Autism Night. Saturday’s game also features a Juluau Pig Roast, presented by Berey Bros., and a Puzzle Piece Jersey Auction, presented by Accessibilies.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at RailCatsBaseball.com or by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
By Jared Shlensky