The Gary SouthShore RailCats suffered their season-high fifth straight defeat to the St. Paul Saints on Friday night at CHS Field after dropping the opening game of series, 2-1, in front of 8,493. The RailCats have now lost their last seven road games, their last six series openers and 11 of their last 13 contests.
Tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the eighth, St. Paul (23-10) took the lead for the good with an unearned run in the frame. Max Murphy sin- gled to left with one before moving to second on a wild pitch from RailCats reliever Felix Carvallo. Dan Motl then grounded out in front of home plate for the second out but was able to advance Murphy to third on the plate. Blake Schmit followed Motl with what looked to be the final out of the inning, however, Colin Willis lost the ball in the lights on the right field warning track and had the ball deflect off his glove to the ground, allowing Murphy to score the eventual game-winning run.
Gary (12-19) put the game-tying running on first base twice in the top of the ninth but were unable to score. Andy De Jesus drew a walk to open the ninth but Marcus Mooney then grounded into a double play. Alex Crosby followed with a five-pitch walk but Saints reliever Jordan Jess struck out Evan Marzilli to end the game.
St. Paul scored the first run of the series in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Brady Shoemaker drew a one-out walk before moving up to second on a wild pitch. Jeremy Martinez then advanced Shoemaker to third with a single to center before Burt Reynolds brought home Shoemaker with an RBI fielder’s choice.
The RailCats scored their only run in the top of the fifth. Will Savage reached on an infield single with two outs before Willis brought him around to score with an RBI double to right-center.
Both starters allowed just one run over seven innings but neither factored in the decision. Lars Liguori yielded just four hits and two walks while striking out two for Gary while Spencer Jones allowed five hits and three walks while striking out four for St. Paul.
Carvallo (0-1) was tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing an unearned run on a hit and a walk in one inning of relief. Jess (2-0) recorded the final four outs in the win for St. Paul after allowing one hit and two walks over 1.1 innings.
Gary and St. Paul resume their three-game series on Saturday night at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. The RailCats have yet to announce their starter while Saints right-hander Dustin Crenshaw (3-2, 4.26) makes his team-high eighth start and first appearance against the ‘Cats in the middle game of the series.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday, June 28th for a three-game homestand vs. the reigning American Association Champion Kansas City T-Bones. Friday’s game is AmeriCAN Beer Fest, presented by Berey Bros., Indiana 105 Country Night, and another Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by call- ing 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.