SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Steve Haake hit a two-run home run and scored three times, and Derell McCall won the first start of his Gary SouthShore RailCats career as the ‘Cats beat the Schaumburg Flyers 5-2 Wednesday afternoon at Alexian Field in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
The RailCats won for the second game in a row to guarantee at worst series split against the Flyers and improved to a season-high 10 games over .500. Haake took Tom Lyons (2-4) deep with two outs and one on in the very first inning to give the RailCats a 2-0 lead and they would not be caught by the hosts.
Haake’s homer was his team-leading ninth of the year and accounted for RBIs 48 and 49. The majestic blast cleared the wall in right-center and was the first RailCats hit of the day, plating Mike Massaro, who had walked to lead off the game. Haake created two of the RailCats other three runs in the fourth and eighth innings with some heady baserunning. After walking to lead off the fourth, Haake went first-to-third on a Jordan Czarniecki sacrifice bunt and scored on a groundout from Cristian Guerrero. In the eighth, Haake singled, went to third on consecutive wild pitches, and scored on a Guerrero sacrifice fly.
Meanwhile, McCall (1-0) cruised through the first three innings of his RailCats debut, retiring the first nine men he faced including four on strikeouts. McCall gave up a pair of runs in the fourth inning but got out of two-on, one-out jam in the fifth to hold the lead and quality for the win. In 5.0 innings, McCall allowed six hits and did not walk a man, striking out six.
The RailCats bullpen was perfect in relief with four scoreless innings. After a rocky start to the sixth inning, Kyle Heyne, Tristan Facer, Eddie De la Cruz and Andy Shipman combined to retire the last 11 Schaumburg hitters in a row. Shipman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in the driving rain to earn his ninth save of the season.
Haake and Brett Wallace had two hits to lead the RailCats eight-hit attack while Vince Harrison went 2-for-4 to pace Schaumburg. Harrison has nine hits in the three games of this series at Alexian Field.
The RailCats (35-25) and Flyers (27-31) wrap up their four game series later tonight at 6:45 p.m. in the second half of this day-night doubleheader. Tony Cogan (5-5, 3.83 ERA) brings a 21.0 inning scoreless streak into the start against a still to-be-announced Flyers starter. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: Guerrero helped Shipman earn the save in the ninth with a running catch in the right field corner that saw the veteran grab the ball in fair territory, then tumble head-over-heels over the side wall and into the seating berm … McCall, signed by the RailCats Tuesday, had not pitched since June 1 at Jupiter (A) in the Florida Marlins system. McCall is in his 10th professional season and has logged more than 1,000 career innings.