A 2-0 lead through five innings and two hits and two RBIs apiece from Colin Willis and Randy Santiesteban wasn’t enough for Gary as the RailCats were swept by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 8-6, on Thursday night in the finale of a nine-game, 10-day homestand at U.S. Steel Yard. Gary finishes their season-long-tying homestand 4-5 and are now a season-worst 18 games out of first place.
Gary (31-45) scored first for the second straight night with two runs in the first. Alex Crosby drilled a double into the right-center gap on the first pitch of the night from Ryan Williams before moving up to third on a sacrifice bunt from Daniel Gardner. Santiesteban followed Gardner with a sacrifice fly to left, bringing in Crosby from third for the game’s first run. Tom Walraven then reached on a fielding error by Fargo-Moorhead third baseman Leo Pina before advancing to second on a single from Willis. Wilfredo Gimenez then doubled the RailCats lead with an RBI single through the left side of the infield for the final run of the inning.
Fargo-Moorhead (49-27) took the lead for good with a five-run top of the sixth. Devan Ahart reached on an infield single to begin the inning before moving up to second on a single from Chris Jacobs. Correlle Prime then doubled off the left field wall, plating Ahart from second for the RedHawks’ first run. T.J. Bennett then tied the game with an RBI groundout to the right side of the infield before Pina drove in Prime from third with an RBI single to left. Two batters later, Comstock launched his third home run in as many games with a two-run homer directly over the left field foul pole.
The RailCats trimmed the RedHawks lead to 5-4 on a two-run home run from Willis. Walraven extended his on-base streak to 22 games with a leadoff single before Willis hit his second home run in as many games.
The RedHawks took their biggest lead of the night at 8-4 with three more runs in the top of the seventh. Tim Colwell doubled to right-center to begin the inning before Ahart brought him around to score with an RBI double down the right field line. Jacobs followed Ahart with an RBI single to left before scoring Fargo’s final run on an RBI single to from Prime.
Gary scored their last two runs of the evening in the bottom of the seventh. Crosby and Gardner singled consecutively to give the ‘Cats runners on first and second before Santiesteban drove in the last of his two runs with an RBI single to right-center. Willis then reached on a catching error by RedHawks reliever Brent Jones, allowing Gardner to score the ‘Cats final run.
Trevor Lubking (5-9) was charged with his fifth loss in his last six starts after allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven over 5.1 innings. Williams (6-1) picked up the win after allowing four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings. Carter Hope and Brent Jones each recorded holds out of the bullpen while Joe Filomeno (4) secured the win with the save in a hitless bottom of the ninth.
Gary begins a three-game road series in Minnesota against St. Paul at CHS Field on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. RailCats right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (5-2, 2.81) opposes Saints southpaw John Kilichowski (0-1, 2.27) in the opening game of the series.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Monday for the start of a six-game homestand. Monday’s game vs. the Texas AirHogs is at 7:10 p.m. and is another Metro Monday and Meaty Monday. Hamburgers cost just $2.00 and complimentary tickets to any remaining Monday game are available at participating Northwest Indiana Metro by T-Mobile locations.
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.