Andy De Jesus' Walk-Off Sac Fly Lifts 'Cats to Series Sweep
GARY, Ind. - After twice blowing multi-run leads, Andy De Jesus swatted a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th to complete a series sweep of St. Paul with a 6-5 win. win gives the RailCats five straight wins, eight wins in their past nine games, and sole possession of first place in the North Division for the first time since July 3rd.
De Jesus' heroics gave Myles Smith (2-1) the win after tossing a scoreless 11th. Former RailCat Jake Matthys (5-4) earned the loss.
St. Paul (33-28) loaded the bases with one out in the first, however, Lars Liguori would wiggle out of the jam, then watch as the RailCats scored twice in the bottom of the inning.
Gary (32-26) loaded the bases with two walks sandwiched around a double by De Jesus. With one out, though, Ronnie Mitchell's line drive would hit Colin Willis, the baserunner at first, costing the RailCats an out. However, Andy Paz would come through with an RBI single to left to score Alex Crosby. Saints left fielder Burt Reynolds would then airmail the throw to the plate, allowing De Jesus to score on the throwing error.
Both Liguori and St. Paul starter Matt Solter would settle down, as Solter retired the next nine hitters. Meanwhile, Liguori would set down eight Saints in a row, but then wobble in the middle innings.
In the fourth, Brady Shoemaker led off with a single, moved to third on a double by Dante Bichette Jr., then scored on Matt Snyder's groundout. An inning later, Max Murphy slashed a one-out double to right, then came home on Kyle Barrett's RBI single to tie the game at two.
After Liguori fired a 1-2-3 sixth inning, the RailCats would get to Solter with one out. After Tillman Pugh and Willis singled, Mitchell would slash an RBI double to right center to break the tie, bringing in Pugh. Paz was intentionally walked to load the bases, chasing Solter.
Ken Frosch came in to the fray and jumped ahead of Reggie Wilson 0-2, but Wilson slapped a single to left to score Willis. Garrett Copeland would then draw a bases loaded walk to make a 5-2 game.
Liguori would retire the first two batters in the seventh before departing, working 6.2 innings and allowing just two runs on six hits and striking out a season-high six batters.
St. Paul would pull within two with an eighth-inning RBI single by Brady Shoemaker against Jack Fowler. After a bloop double put two men in scoring position, Adam Quintana would come in out of the pen.
However, he would blow his first save of the year as a wild pitch, compounded by a Paz throwing error, would allow two runs to score, re-tying the game at five.
From there, the offense dried up, as both teams were scoreless in the 9th and 10th innings, before the bottom of the 11th. Wilson led off the inning with his third hit, a single to center, then was sacrificed to second. Cole Fabio's single moved Wilson to third, before an intentional walk to Crosby set up De Jesus, who swatted a 3-1 pitch deep enough into center field that Saints center fielder Kyle Barrett didn't even bother to fire to the plate as Wilson scampered home on the sac fly.
Gary continues their six-game homestand on Monday in the start of a three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Neither team has announced their starting pitcher for Monday's series opener. Monday's game is another Metro PCS Monday and All You Can Eat Night. Purchase a $10 wristband at the box office or at the home plate concession stand and you receive all you can eat hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts.
Jared Shlensky and Brennan Mense bring you all 100 RailCats game this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at railcatsbaseball.com. Ticket packages for the 2018 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.
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American Association Stories from July 22, 2018
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