Magical McKenzie Blanks Saints to Force Game 4 of North Division Series
GARY, Ind. - The Gary SouthShore RailCats recorded their American Association postseason win since Sept. 14, 2013, and forced Game 4 of the North Division Series with a 5-0 shutout over the St. Paul Saints on a chilly Friday night at U.S. Steel Yard. Down 2-1, in the best of five series vs. St. Paul, Gary must win the next two games against the Saints in order to advance to the American Association Finals for the first time since winning the 2013 American Association Championship.
Jeff McKenzie (6-9, 1-0) recorded his first American Association postseason victory with seven shutout innings. McKenzie yielded just five singles, walked one and struck out three. The southpaw also retired 14 of the last 16 St. Paul batters he faced and nine of the final 10.
St. Paul (59-41, 2-1) never had a baserunner reach third base and had total of six baserunners on the night. Former RailCat Jake Matthys (9-8, 0-1) was tagged with the loss in his first career American Association postseason start after allowing five runs on 10 hits, a walk and three strikeouts in five innings.
Gary (59-41, 1-2) scored first for the second straight night with a run in the first. Back-to-back singles from D.K. Carey and Alex Crosby gave the 'Cats runners on the corners to open the frame before Tillman Pugh drove in Carey with an RBI single to left for the game's first run.
The RailCats increased their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second. Randy Santiesteban doubled into the left field corner to begin the inning before moving up to third on Andy De Jesus' sacrifice bunt. Cole Fabio then drew a four-pith walk before Carey brought home Santiesteban from third with an RBI infield bunt single up the first base line on the safety squeeze. Crosby then reached on fielder's choice, giving Gary runners on the corners before Pugh recorded his second RBI single for the final run of the inning.
Gary took their biggest lead of the North Division Series at 5-0 with two more runs in the fifth. Pugh led off the inning with his third single of the day before advancing to third on Wilfredo Gimenez's two-out double down the left field line. With two in scoring position, Santiesteban delivered a two-run single, plating both Pugh and Santiesteban.
Myles Smith and Adam Quintana tossed back-to-back scoreless innings of relief in the top of the eighth and ninth to end the game. Game four of the North Division Series is on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. RailCats LHP Austin Wright (1-1, 3.66) opposes Saints RHP Trevor Foss (4-2, 3.04) on Saturday.
Playoff tickets for game three of the North Division Series against St. Paul are available online at railcatsbaseball.com with tickets starting at $7. 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 September 7, 2018
- T-Bones Grab Southern Division Playoff Lead; Look to Clinch Saturday - Kansas City T-Bones
- American Association Game Recaps - AA
- Magical McKenzie Blanks Saints to Force Game 4 of North Division Series - Gary SouthShore Railcats
- No Celebration as Saints Blanked in Game 3 5-0, Lead Series 2-1 - St. Paul Saints
- Railroaders 2018 Team Awards Announced - Cleburne Railroaders
- Season Recap: Third Straight Winning Season Marked by Great Moments - Lincoln Saltdogs
- American Association Game Recap - AA
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