Three doubles, a walk and a run from Colin Willis and a 2-0 lead after the second inning wasn’t enough for Gary as the RailCats fell to the Milwaukee Milkmen, 7-2, in front of 4,302 fans on Star Wars Night at U.S Steel Yard on Friday. Following Fridays’ defeat, Gary is a season-high-tying 16 games below .500 and have lost three of their last four games and seven of their last 11 contests.
Gary (34-50) scored their only runs in the second to take a 2-0 lead. Willis doubled off the base of the left field wall to begin the frame before moving up to third on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Wilfredo Gimenez floated an RBI single down the first base line for the first run of the night. Michael Blatchford was then hit on the right shoulder before a passed ball advanced both Gimenez and Blatchford into scoring position. Andy De Jesus followed Blatchford with a sacrifice fly to center for the RailCats final run.
Milwaukee (33-51) quickly countered with three runs in the third to take their first lead of the series. Jose Rosario homered down the left field on the first pitch of the inning before Sam Dexter drew a one-out walk. Derek Reddy then singled to left, giving the Milkmen runners on first and second. With both Dexter and Reddy running, Garrett Copeland hit a one-hopper to Alex Crosby at first and was retired on the 1-3 putout, however, Dexter scored all the way from second to even the game. Manuel Boscan then hit a hard one-hopper off the glove of Nile Ball. Ball picked up the ball between first and second base, but threw low past Crosby to the side wall, allowing Reddy to score from second on the throwing error.
The Milkmen went up 4-2 with another run in the fourth. Riley Pittman singled to center to begin the inning before moving up to second on a sacrifice bunt from Glen McClain. Rosario followed McClain with a single back up the middle, giving Milwaukee runners on the corners. Christ Conley then doubled the Milkmen lead with an RBI single through the left side of the infield for the final run of the frame.
Milwaukee increased their lead to 7-2 with three more runs in the seventh. Copeland and Boscan singled consecutively to begin the inning before Adam Walker launched his team-leading 20th home run down the left field line for the final runs of the evening.
Ball (1-1) was charged with his first professional loss in his third start. Ball went a career-high five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out two.
River Carbone signed his first professional baseball contract with Gary before the game and allowed three runs on six hits over four innings of relief in his pro debut. The right-hander retired nine of the last 10 hitters he faced, walked none and struck out four.
Jordan Kraus (6-4) recorded the win in his third start against Gary. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out a pair.
Gary concludes its six-game homestand on Saturday night at 6:10 p.m. vs. Milwaukee. RailCats’ southpaw Trevor Lubking (5-9, 4.58) makes his league-leading 21st start against Milkmen right-hander Joey Wagman (1-2, 5.40) in the rubber game.
Saturday’s game is the sixth annual Clunker Car Night and AmeriCAN Beer Fest, presented by Berey Bros. Saturday’s series finale is also another Accessibilities Signature Saturday, featuring pre-game autographs with the team, and Kids Run the Bases. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to take home a used car during our final AmeriCAN Beer Fest of the season.
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.