Robbie Coursel Shines in Debut for RailCats, 7-1
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Five shutout innings from Robbie Coursel in his first professional start, a season-high eight walks drawn by the RailCats offense and home runs from Wilfredo Gimenez and Danny De La Calle paced Gary to a 7-1 win over the Kansas City T-Bones in the opening game of the series on Friday night at T-Bones Stadium. Gary never trailed and handed Kansas City their third consecutive loss in the final game of the month.
Coursel (2-0) retired the first six batters of the game, faced the minimum through four innings and yielded just two hits and a walk while striking out five in an unexpected start. Gary gave Coursel an early 1-0 lead after Gimenez led off the second with a solo home run into the ‘Cats bullpen in left-center.
Gary (7-6) went up 3-0 with two more runs in the fourth. Tom Walraven increased his season-high-tying hitting streak to six games with a single to left before Gimenez and Evan Marzilli followed with singles of their own, loading the bases for Andy De Jesus. De Jesus then made it 3-0 with a two-run double to right-center, plating both Walraven and Gimenez.
Kansas City (7-6) scored their only run of the night in sixth. Ramsey Romano singled to center to begin the frame before Ryan Brett lined out to center. Darnell Sweeney then hit a high fly ball to left-center that looked like a catchable ball for left fielder Sean Guida, however, Guida lost the ball in the lights, allowing Romano to score and Sweeney to pick up an RBI double.
The RailCats regained their three-run lead with another run in the seventh. Zach Welz flew out to right to begin the inning before Guida drew a five-pitch walk. Marcus Mooney was then hit in the back before Randy Santiesteban reached on a fielder’s choice, giving Gary runners on the corners. Colin Willis then walked before Walraven pocked an opposite-field RBI single into right field, bringing home Guida from third.
Gary increased their lead to 5-1 with another run in the eighth. De Jesus drew a one-out walk before Welz was hit. Guida then kept an opposite-field RBI double just fair inside the left field line, scoring De Jesus from second.
The RailCats added their final two runs in the ninth. Walraven drew a leadoff walk before De La Calle delivered an opposite-field, two-run home run into the grass seating in right field.
Jumpei Akanuma (1) recorded his first professional hold with inning of relief while Sandy Lugo (2) recorded his team-high second hold with two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Dustin Hurlbutt (0-2) was charged with his second consecutive loss for KC. The right-hander went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out two.
Gary and Kansas City resume their three-game series on Saturday night from T-Bones Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Southpaw Trevor Lubking (2-1, 1.88) makes his team-high-tying fourth start for the RailCats against T-Bones’ right-hander Dylan Baker (1-0, 4.00) in the middle game of the series.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Monday, June 3rd for the first of four games vs. the Chicago Dogs. Monday’s game is the first Metro Monday and Meaty Monday of the season. Visit any Northwest Indiana Metro by T-Mobile location for complimentary tickets and enjoy our delicious hamburgers for just $2. Monday’s series opener is also Munster and Dyer Community Night, presented by Fifth Third Bank.
By Jared Shlensky