Santiesteban Walk-Off Hit Helps RailCats Claw Out Win, 3-2
GARY, IND. — Four hits from Randy Santiesteban, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, gave the Gary SouthShore RailCats, a 3-2, victory over the St. Paul Saints on Friday night at U.S. Steel Yard in front of a season-high 6,164 in attendance. The walk-off win was Gary’s first of the season and prevented the ‘Cats from being swept.
Andy De Jesus singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth before Marcus Mooney was hit for a league-high 15th time. Saints Manager George Tsamis then went replaced Mike Devine with left-hander Chris Lee. Lee walked the first batter he faced in Abel Arocho on five pitches before allowing the game-winning hit to Santiesteban on the first pitch he threw to him.
St. Paul (56-34) scored first for the second straight night with a run in the fourth. Dan Motl singled to left-center to begin the inning before moving up to second on a sacrifice bunt from Michael Lang. All-Star Brady Shoemaker followed with an RBI double to left-center, bringing Motl home for the game’s first run.
Gary (36-55) quickly countered with a two-out run in the fifth to tie the game. Daniel Gardner walked to begin the inning before De Jesus reached on a fielder’s choice. De Jesus then stole second before advancing to third on a passed ball. Arocho drew the second walk of the inning, giving the ‘Cats runners on the corners before Santiesteban delivered his third hit of the night with an RBI single to center.
The RailCats took their first lead of the night with another two-out run in the sixth. Hayden Schilling was hit in the right leg with one out before stealing second. Two batters later, De Jesus followed with a two-out RBI single to put Gary in front.
St. Paul tied the game at 2-2 with a two-out run in the seventh. Motl was hit on the side with two outs before stealing second. Lang then hit a one-hopper to Santiesteban well off the bag at first. Santiesteban knocked it down and threw to the covering Jack Alkire ahead of Lang at first. However, Alkire initially missed the bag at first, allowing Motl to score from second on the play to even the game.
Sandy Lugo (2-2) recorded the win with a scoreless top of the ninth while Seth Hougesen recorded a no-decision in the start. The southpaw went five innings, allowing just one run on two hits and three walks while striking out a career-high seven batters.
Devine (3-3) was tagged with the loss in relief for the Saints. The right-hander went 2.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits.
Gary begins a six-game road trip on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against Lincoln at Haymarket Park. RailCats’ right-hander Nile Ball makes his fifth professional start for the RailCats while the Saltdogs have yet to announce their starting pitcher in the first matchup of the year between the two teams.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Saturday, Aug. 31st to conclude the season vs. Lincoln. Saturday’s game is at 4:10 p.m. and is Oktoberfest, presented by Berey Bros., and features a team card set giveaway to the first 1,000 fans. Sunday’s game is also another AccessAbilities Signature Saturday and Kids Run the Bases.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
By Jared Shlensky