RailCats Split Double-Header with Milkmen
By Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
The Gary SouthShore RailCats (10-7) split Monday’s Memorial Day doubleheader with the Milwaukee Milkmen (7-9), winning game one 7-4 before dropping game two 4-1 at The Steel Yard.
After quickly falling in a 2-0 hole in the top of the first of game one, the ‘Cats wasted no time clawing their way back in the bottom half of the inning. Gio Díaz singled and Francisco Del Valle walked, setting up LG Castillo and Victor Nova to record back-to-back base hits to bring Gary SouthShore even at two.
An inning later, the RailCats got back to work. Gary SouthShore took the lead on a Díaz sacrifice fly, and Marco Hernandez hustled home on a passed ball to plate two more ‘Cats runs, putting them ahead 4-2.
The offensive display continued in their next turn at bat. Just as he did the night before, Jesus Marriaga connected on a third-inning RBI single, providing the RailCats a larger cushion with a 5-2 advantage.
Milwaukee added a pair of runs on a Rudy Martin home run to pull within one in the fourth, but Gary SouthShore’s bats weren’t done yet. For a fourth consecutive inning, the RailCats found their way onto the scoreboard through a two-out, bases-loaded, two-run Victor Nova single. The base knock supplied all the insurance the RailCats needed as they led by three runs once again.
From there, the Gary SouthShore bullpen slammed the door shut. On just one day of rest following his first start of the season, Jack Eisenbarger picked up the win, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings. DJ Wilkinson pitched for a second consecutive day and notched the first save of his professional career, recording the final four outs.
The win makes the RailCats just the third team in the American Association this season to reach 10 wins.
In game two, Joan Valdez started for the first time in 2023, firing two scoreless frames. The right-hander struck out three and exited in a scoreless game.
However, Milwaukee broke the deadlock upon Valdez’s removal, adding a pair of runs in the third and fourth innings to move in front 4-0.
Castillo, fresh off a 4-for-4 performance in game one, kept his bat hot in game two. The cleanup hitter registered a two-hit performance and followed a Del Valle double in the fourth inning with one of his own to cut into the Milwaukee lead at 4-1.
Unfortunately, that was all the offense the ‘Cats could muster as Milwaukee’s bullpen closed out the contest to earn a doubleheader split.
The RailCats have a day off tomorrow but return to The Steel Yard at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday for game three of their four-game set against the Milkmen. All the action can be found via stream at aabaseball.tv or over the radio on 95.9 WEFM and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.