Copeland's 4 Hits Not Enough in 8-3 Loss to St. Paul
GARY, Ind. - A 3-0 first inning lead and four hits from Garrett Copeland wasn't enough on Saturday night as the Gary SouthShore RailCats dropped their first game of the season to the St. Paul Saints, 8-3, at U.S. Steel Yard. Copeland finished 4-for-4 with an RBI double, three singles, a walk and a run in his first Independent Professional Baseball start. St. Paul scored eight unanswered and knocked out 16 hits, all singles, in game two of the series.
Gary (1-1) struck in the first for the second game with a three-run frame. Alex Crosby shot a double down the left field line before Randy Santiesteban was hit on the left elbow, giving Gary runners on first and second. Copeland followed with an RBI double to right-center for his first Independent Professional Baseball hit, bringing Crosby around to score for the first run of the afternoon. Colin Willis then brought home Santiesteban with an RBI groundout to second, increasing the 'Cats lead to 2-0. A catching error by the Saints allowed Copeland to score the final run of the inning.
St. Paul (1-1) trimmed the Gary lead to 3-1 with their first run of the day in the second. Back-to-back singles from Noah Perio Jr. and Dante Bichette Jr. gave the Saints runners on the corners to start the inning. Justin O'Conner followed with a sacrifice fly to right, bringing home Perio Jr.
The Saints added another run in the third to make it a 3-2 game. Josh Allen led off the frame with an infield single before a Richard Prigatano groundout to second advanced Allen 90-feet. Max Murphy then recorded his first Independent Professional Baseball hit with a single to left, giving the Saints runners on the corners. Brady Shoemaker cut the St. Paul deficit to one with an RBI groundout to second, scoring Allen from third.
St. Paul tied the game at 3-3 with a run for the third straight inning in the fourth. Back-to-back singles from Perio Jr. and Bichette Jr. for the second straight inning gave the Saints runners on the corners. O'Conner then delivered his second sacrifice fly to right, soring Perio Jr. form third.
The Saints took their first lead of the game with three runs in the seventh. Jayce Boyd made it 5-3 with a two-run single before Perio Jr. delivered the final run of the inning with an RBI single.
St. Paul scored the final two of their eight unanswered runs in the eighth. Allen drew a one-out walk before Prigatano and Murphy followed with singles. Shoekmaker recorded the final two of his three RBIs with a two-run single to center, playing both Allen and Prigatano.
Chris Powell (0-1) was charged with the loss in his RailCats debut. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. Beck Wheeler (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings of relief in the win for St. Paul.
Alex Gunn recorded a no-decision in his season debut after allowing three runs over five innings while Jack Fowler allowed two runs over 2.1 innings in his season debut out of the bullpen. Fowler recorded all three striekotus for the RailCats pitching staff and retired the last four batters he faced.
The RailCats conclude their season-opening series on Sunday vs. St. Paul at 2:10 p.m. LHP Jeff Malm (0-0, 0.00) opposes RHP Chuck Weaver (0-0, 0.00) in the series finale.
Sunday's game is Bark in the Park, presented by McAfee Animal Hospital, Sunday Funday, a free Magnet Schedule Giveaway, presented by Northwest Indiana Orthopedic & Spine Center at Methodist Hospitals, a Times Family Sunday and features a Pre-Game Catch before the game, presented by Dr. Geissler's Hearing Center. Sunday Funday includes $5 select cocktails while the Times Family Sunday includes $10 tickets for two adults and up to four kids in NWI Times paper and social media. Don't forget to bring a glove and your ball because fans will get to play catch on the field before the start of the game.
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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