Liguori, 'Cats Blank X's, 7-0, in Home Opener
GARY, IND. - The Gary SouthShore RailCats had never won back-to-back home openers since joining the American Association in 2011. That changed on a chilly Tuesday night as the RailCats shutout Sioux the City Explorers (1-4), 7-0, with 2,083 in attendance at U.S. Steel Yard.
After allowing nine runs over 1.1 innings in Gary's season opener against Chicago on Friday, Lars Liguori (1-0) returned to his usual self with five scoreless frames against his old club on Tuesday. The southpaw yielded four hits, walked two, struck out four and allowed just one Explorer baserunner to reach third base in his first win of the year.
Gary (2-2) jumped out to 4-0 lead after batting around in the first. Marcus Mooney recorded his first Independent Professional Baseball (IPBF) hit with a one-out single to right before Randy Santiesteban brought him around to score with an RBI double to the left-center wall. Colin Willis then drew a four-pitch walk before Edgar Corcino plated Santiesteban with an RBI double to left. Leading 2-0, Gary increased their lead to three on an RBI single from Wilfredo Gimenez. Two hitters later, John Price Jr. delivered the final run of the inning with an RBI fielder's choice.
Gary went in front 5-0 with another run in the second. Mooney reached on a fielding error from Explorers starter and former big leaguer Taylor Jordan with one out before advancing to third on a single from Santiesteban. With runners on the corners, Willis scored Mooney with a sacrifice fly to center.
The RailCats scored their final runs of the evening with two more runs in the fourth. Will Savage was hit to begin the inning before Andy De Jesus brought him around to score with an RBI triple into the right field corner. Mooney followed De Jesus with a sacrifice fly to center for the final run of the night.
Robbie Coursel tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief in his second appearance of the year while Braulio Torres-Perez recorded the final four outs of the game with 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Jordan (0-1) took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits and two hits over four innings in his season debut.
Gary and Sioux City resume their three-game series on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. Right-hander Christian DeLeon (0-1, 5.40) makes his home debut for the 'Cats in the middle game of the series against Explorers' right-hander Jason Garcia (1-0, 1.59).
Wednesday's game is the first Creekside Bar "Pop-Bar" Wednesday of the season and a NorthShore Health Centers Wednesday. Wednesday's pop-up bar theme is "A Pop-Up Bar About Nothing" celebrating Seinfeld and includes a free magnet schedule giveaway, presented by Northwest Indiana Orthopedic and Spine Center at Methodist Hospitals. Wednesday's game is also Hammond, East Chicago, and Whiting Community Night, presented by Fifth Third Bank.
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.
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