RailCats Staff Stymies Milkmen, 6-1
GARY, IND. — After falling behind early, the RailCats finished tonight’s game with six unanswered runs en route to a fifth straight victory over the Milkmen. Six scoreless innings from the bullpen and strong nights at the plate from Marcus Mooney and Collin Willis vaulted the ‘Cats to a 6-1 win.
Milwaukee (27-43) took the lead in the third as former RailCat Garrett Copeland scored from third on a passed ball that got by Danny De La Calle. That would prove to be the only run Milwaukee would score.
Gary (30-41) responded the very next half inning. Mooney legged-out an infield single on a grounder to third to start the inning and Daniel Gardner ripped a single into right to advance him to third base with two down. Randy Santiesteban followed with an RBI-single to right to tie the ballgame.
The RailCats would take the lead the next inning, a lead they would not relinquish.
Willis drew a league-leading 56th walk to start off the fourth and came around to score what would be the game-winning run as the next hitter, De La Calle, launched a triple off the wall in center. Five pitches later Ray Jones hit a sacrifice fly to left that gave Gary a 3-1 lead.
Nile Ball (1-0) came on in relief of Frank Moscatiello and tossed a scoreless fourth, fifth and sixth; earning him his first win as a member of the RailCats.
The score would remain the same up until the bottom-half of the seventh.
Mooney led off the seventh with his third straight infield single but Tanner Kiest then retired both Alex Crosby and Gardner. Santiesteban and Walraven both walked and the bases were loaded with two down. With Willis at the plate a wild pitch from Kiest scored Santiesteban from third. The All-Star Game MVP then lined a single to right, scoring two, and really putting the game out of reach at 6-1.
Christian De Leon came on to get the final six outs, including striking out the side in order in the eighth, which sent the crowd of 3,507 strong all to their feet. The ‘Cats won for the sixth time in their last seven contests and are now 7-1 overall vs the Milkmen.
Gary and Milwaukee continue their weekend series on Saturday as left-hander Trevor Lubking (4-7, 4.43 ERA) gets the nod for the ‘Cats against the right-hander Kurt Heyer (3-7, 5.33 ERA). First pitch is slotted for 6:10 p.m.
Saturday night is Bark at the Park Night presented by Arbor View Animal as well as another AccessAbilities Signature Saturday, featuring pregame autographs with the team. Kids and dogs both run the bases after the final out.
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