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Massaro Reaches 500 Hits; 'Cats Rally to Beat Saints 7-4

August 31, 2012 - American Association (AA) - Gary SouthShore Railcats News Release

GARY, Ind. - Mike Masaro became the second player in franchise history to reach 500 hits as a RailCat and capped a four-run rally in the eighth inning in the RailCats' 7-4 win over the St. Paul Saints on Friday night. The 'Cats took three of four in the series, moving to 49-48 on the season in front of a season-high crowd of 5,812 at U. S. Steel Yard.

After falling behind 4-3 in the top of the eighth, the RailCats responded in the bottom half of the inning. Craig Maddox led off with a double to the left field corner. Ryan Babineau came on to pinch-run and then the 'Cats loaded the bases with one out. Chase Tucker hit an infield single to short, scoring Babineau and knotting the game back up at 4-4. After driving in the game-winning run in the eighth the night before, David Cooper's sacrifice fly to left scored Zac Mitchell, giving the RailCats the 5-4 lead. Adam Klein walked to load the bases once more, this time with two outs, and Massaro followed with a two-run single to center that put the 'Cats ahead 7-4.

The Saints scored an unearned run in the first inning off of RailCats starter Jon Gulbransen to jump ahead early. Joe Spiers reached on a fielding error by Cooper and stole second. Ole Sheldon hit a two-out double off the wall in left to score Spiers and give the Saints a 1-0 lead.

St. Paul added a controversial run in the sixth against RailCats reliever Nolan Nicholson. With the bases loaded and two out, Jim Rapoport hit a slow roller down the first base line. Nicholson picked it up and attempted to tag Rapoport on his way by, but Rapoport was ruled safe at first as Willie Cabrera scored to make it 2-0.

Gulbransen allowed an unearned run on four hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out three. He did not factor in the decision. Marshall Schuler got the win in relief, moving to 2-3 on the season.

The RailCats finally got to Saints starter Anthony Claggett in the sixth. Massaro and Brian Kolb singled before Maddox crushed a three-run homer to right, his fifth of the year, to put the 'Cats in front 3-2.

Massaro finished 3-for-5 on the night with two RBI and a run scored. His seventh-inning single was his 500th hit as a RailCat. He is second all-time in hits in franchise history, trailing just Jay Pecci's 548 hits.

The Saints came back to tie it in the seventh on another unearned run. Spiers was hit by RailCats reliever Andrew Johnston and then moved to second base on Adam Frost's single. Sheldon hit a grounder to short that looked like it would be a double-play, but Chase Tucker's throwing error allowed Spiers to score and tie the game 3-3.

St. Paul jumped ahead in the top of the eighth. After loading the bases with one out, Spiers hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored former RailCat Tanner Townsend, giving them a 4-3 edge before the 'Cats rallied. Marshall Schuler (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the victory.

The RailCats finish out the regular season with a three-game series against the Laredo Lemurs, starting on Saturday night at 6:10 PM. Right-hander Morgan Coombs (6-8, 5.37) will open the series on the mound for the 'Cats.

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