The Gary SouthShore RailCats avoided being swept for the second straight series and snapped their season-high six-game losing streak with an 11-10 victory over the St. Paul Saints on a rainy Sunday night at CHS Field. First pitch in Sunday’s series finale was pushed back two hours, 46 minutes due to rain, featured a 24-minute rain delay after the eighth inning and lasted a season-long four hours, 19 minutes before concluding on Monday morning.
Trailing 9-8 with two outs in the top of the eighth, Gary (13-20) took the lead good for good on Evan Marzilli’s bases-clearing double down the left field line. Marzilli’s double was the last of his game-high four hits and the final three of his four RBIs. Danny De La Calle reached on an infield single to begin the inning before Ray Jones reached on a fielder’s choice. Marcus Mooney followed Jones with a bunt single up the third base line before Will Savage flew out to left for the second out of the frame. Alex Crosby was then hit in the hip to load the bases for Marzilli delivered the biggest hit of the night.
St. Paul (24-11) scored once in the bottom of the eighth to make it 11-10 and even put the tying run on third base in the frame but didn’t score. Dan Motl singled with one out before Blake Schmit doubled to right-center, advancing Motl to third. Brady Shoemaker cut the Gary lead to one with sacrifice fly but Felix Carvallo retired Burt Reynolds two hitters later to end the inning.
The Saints got a two-out single from Chesny Young off RailCats closer Sandy Lugo in the bottom of the ninth but Lugo struck out Max Murphy to end the game. Lugo (4) secured the win with the save in the bottom of the ninth with his team-leading fourth save in his second appearance as many nights.
Gary took the opening lead for the second straight game for the second straight night with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Marzilli singled to right for the first hit of the night before Randy Santiesteban and Colin Willis drew back-to-back walks. Marzilli then scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch from Saints starter Eddie Medina before Danny De La Calle doubled the Gary lead with a sacrifice fly to center.
That lead didn’t last long as the Saints jumped in front 5-2 with a five-run bottom of the first. Motl reached on an infield single for the first St. Paul hit of the evening before Schmit doubled. Shoemaker then drew a walk to load the bases before Jeremy Martinez tied the game with a two-run single to center. Two batters later, Josh Allen pulled a two-out, three-run home run down the left field line.
The RailCats cut the St. Paul lead to two with a run in the top of the second. Marcus Mooney reached on an error to begin the inning before Will Savage drew a walk. Three hitters later, Santiesteban brought Mooney around to score with an RBI double down into the left field corner.
St. Paul took their biggest lead of the night at 7-3 with two more runs in the bottom of the second. Young singled to right to start the frame before Murphy doubled, giving the Saints two runners in scoring position. Motl drove in the first of the two runs with a sacrifice fly to center. Two hitters later, Shoemaker scored Murphy with an RBI single to left.
Gary trimmed the Saints lead to 7-6 with three runs in the fourth. Savage drew a four-pitch to begin the frame before Alex Crosby doubled to left-center. Two hitters later, Santiesteban brought home Savage with an RBI groundout before a wild pitch scored Crosby from third. De La Calle delivered the final run of the inning with an opposite-field RBI single to right.
The RailCats took regained the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. Savage was hit in the left shoulder to begin the inning before Marzilli doubled home Savage with an opposite-field double. Two hitters later, Willis scored Marzilli with an RBI double to right-center.
Devon Rodriguez tied the game at 8-8 with a solo home run down the right field line in the bottom of the fifth before Martinez put the Saints back in front with a two-out opposite-field home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Ryan Thurston (2-0) recorded the win with a scoreless bottom of the seventh while Carvallo (3) recorded a hold after allowing a run in the eighth. Landon Beck (2-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits over 2.1 innings.
Gary continues their season-long 10-game road trip on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. in the inaugural game against the Milwaukee Milkmen at Routine Field. Right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (0-2, 3.48) makes his fourth start for the RailCats while the Milkmen have yet to announce their starter.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday, June 28th for a three-game homestand vs. the reigning American Association Champion Kansas City T-Bones. Friday’s game is AmeriCAN Beer Fest, presented by Berey Bros., Indiana 105 Country Night, and another Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday.
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.