Early Six-Run Lead Paces Gary to 6-3 Win over Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - An early six-run lead, 6.1 innings of three-run baseball from Lars Liguori and 2.2 scoreless innings of relief from the Gary bullpen paced the RailCats to their straight victory and a 6-3 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries on a windy and chilly Thursday evening. The St. Paul Saints also lost on Thursday, putting Gary within one game of first place in the North Division standings.
Gary (56-40) took their first opening lead of the series with a pair of runs in the first. Ronnie Mitchell doubled into the right field corner before Andy De Jesus singled to center, giving the RailCats runners on the corners. Mitchell then scored from third for the first run of the game on a wild pitch from Canaries starter Miles Nordgren. D.K. Carey followed with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring De Jesus from third.
The RailCats went up by five with three unearned runs in the fourth. Andy Paz reached first on a fielding error by Canaries shortstop Jordan Dean to begin the inning before Jeff Sneed drew a four-pitch walk. Garett Copeland followed Sneed with a single to right, loading the bases. K.C. Huth then made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center before Cole Fabio brought home Sneed with an RBI infield single. Mitchell delivered the final run of the inning with an RBI groundout, extending the Gary lead to 5-0.
Carey gave Gary their biggest lead of the series at six with a solo home run to lead off the top of the fifth. The homer was Gary's third in their last two games and Carey's third of the year.
Sioux Falls (39-57) avoided being shutout with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the Gary lead to 6-1. Mike Hart reached base for the sixth time in the series with a two-out double down into the right field corner. David Bergin then hit a sky-high pop fly to Paz at first base, however, Paz had the ball go off the top of his mitt, allowing Hart to score from second.
The Canaries added the final two runs in the seventh, trimming the Gary lead to 6-3. Back-to-back singles from Jeff Malm and Mitch Glasser gave Sioux Falls runners on first and second to begin the frame. After Hart struck out, Bergin pulled an RBI down into the left field corner, plating Malm from second. Jabari Henry then drove in Glasser with an RBI groundout for the final run of the evening.
Liguori (4-6) recorded his third consecutive quality start in the win after yielding three runs (two earned) on eight hits, two walks, a hit batsman and five strikeouts. Mario Samuel yielded a hit and a walk over 1.1 scoreless innings of relief while Jack Fowler (1) secured the win with his first American Association save. Fowler retired four of the five batters he faced, one via a strikeout, in his first save of the year. Nordgren (2-6) was charged with his second loss against Gary after allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits, two walks and five strikeouts over six innings.
Gary concludes their five-game road trip and three-game series against Sioux Falls on Friday at 7:05 p.m. RailCats RHP Keaton Steele (4-6, 3.27) opposes Canaries RHP and former MLB pitcher Jake Esch (8-5, 4.91).
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Saturday, September 1st for the final three regular-season games of the year. Saturday is Oktoberfest, presented by Berey Bros., and is a special 4:10 p.m. start time vs. the Kansas City T-Bones. Saturday's series opener also features Kids the Run the Bases and is another Signature Saturday, courtesy of AccessAbilities, Inc.
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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