A 2-0 lead though three innings and two hits and two RBIs from Marcus Mooney wasn’t enough for Gary in the series opener against St. Paul on Wednesday night at U.S. Steel Yard as the RailCats fell to the Saints, 5-2. Gary brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth but Hayden Schilling struck out to end the game.
Gary (35-54) took the opening lead of the series with its only two runs in the second. Michael Blathchford pulled a single into right field to begin the inning before a fielding error by Saints first baseman John Silviano off the bat of Daniel Gardner gave the ‘Cats runners on first and second. Marcus Mooney followed Gardner with a two-run double to left-center warning track, scoring both Blatchford and Gardner for the first runs of the night.
St. Paul (55-33) cut the Gary lead to one with its first run in the fourth. Jabari Henry doubled into the left field corner before coming around to score on Silviano’s two-out RBI double to right-center.
The Saints took their first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the sixth. Consecutive singles from All-Stars Jeremy Martinez and Josh Allen gave St. Paul runners on first second to begin the inning. Silivano was then hit in the back to load the bases before back-to-back sacrifice flies from Chesny Young and Chris Baker gave St. Paul the lead for good.
St. Paul scored the final two runs with two outs in the ninth to go up 5-2. Michael Lang and Brady Shoemaker singled consecutively with one out before Martinez drew a two-out walk. Allen followed with a two-out, two-run single just in front of the diving attempt of Gardner in center, allowing Lang and Shoemaker to score the final runs of the evening.
Trevor Lubking (5-10) was charged with the loss despite recording his second straight quality start and team-high 12th of the year. The left-hander went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walked four, hit a batter and struck out three.
Chris Lee (1-0) recorded his first Independent Professional Baseball (IPBF) win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. The southpaw retired six of the eight batters he faced, four via strikeouts, and yielded just a hit and a walk.
Karch Kowalczyk and Ken Frosch each recorded holds with a scoreless inning each out of the bullpen while Tanner Kiest (5) recorded the save with the final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, all via strikeouts, to secure the win. Gary resumes its three-game homestand on Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. vs. St. Paul. RailCats’ right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (5-5, 3.03) opposes Saints’ All-Star right-hander Eddie Medina (8-2 2.84) in the middle game of the series.
Thursday’s game is the last Thirsty Thursday and Gerber Collision & Glass Thursday of the season. Visit any Northwest Indiana Gerber Collision & Glass location for complimentary tickets to the RailCats last Thursday home game and enjoy our domestic drafts, select premium drafts, and hot dogs for $1.50, $3.00 and $1.00, respectively.
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.