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Fourth Walk-off in Last Seven at U. S. Steel Yard!
GARY, Ind. — Fans who stuck around for the entire contest at U. S. Steel Yard Sunday were treated to another thrilling walk-off victory, this one courtesy of a Cristian Guerrero single in the eleventh to give the Gary SouthShore RailCats a 5-4 victory and 3-1 series win over the first-place St. Paul Saints.
A back and forth contest went the way of the home team in the bottom of the eleventh as the RailCats pushed their record to three games over .500 at 20-17 and 6-2 in extra inning affairs. The game-winning hit by Guerrero was the second of the four walk-offs at U. S. Steel Yard with the other one coming June 8 against Sioux City when his solo homer gave the ‘Cats the win, also in eleven. RailCats starter Jack Frawley was an out shy of a quality start as the righty allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out five over 5.2 solid innings of work.
RailCats hitters continued their hot approach putting together another solid offensive output. The ‘Cats collected fourteen base knocks in the game against a solid Saints staff. Adam Klein had yet another great day at the plate with four singles and an RBI pushing his average up to .302 on the year. Three other RailCats had at least two hits and seven of the nine starters amassed at least one base hit.
Contributions from the bullpen yet again proved to be a major asset for Greg Tagert’s squad as the only blemish came on a solo homer off James Baker by the Saints Jason Cooper. The ‘pen combined to surrender just three hits over 5.1 innings and collected seven strikeouts. Zeb Engle, coming off the disabled list before the game, came in to get the last out of the sixth and the first two of the seventh. Baker was excellent, despite the homer, allowing just the one hit and striking out two in his 1.1 innings. Jeremy Hauer and Will Krout, appearing for the third day in a row, combined for a scoreless and hitless ninth. Chris Chavez gave up a pair of hits but stranded the runners on base adding a strikeout in the tenth and Brian Grening earned the win for the second day in a row after a perfect eleventh to improve to 3-1 on the season.
St. Paul took the lead with a single tally in the games first frame. Consecutive singles by Adam Frost and Justin Snyder gave the Saints runners on first and third before Shane Costa belted a line shot right back to the mound. With Snyder running on the pitch, Frawley snagged the liner and threw to first to complete the double play to help limit the damage. Ole Sheldon singled to left to drive in Frost before Frawley struck out Jason Cooper to end the threat.
Single runs in the second and third gave the RailCats a 2-1 lead. With one out in the second, Lorenzo Scott tripled to deep left field and scored a batter later on a Kyle Haines sacrifice fly. Catcher Craig Maddox led off the third with a double and advanced to third on a Brian Kolb sacrifice before scoring on a Klein single.
The ‘Cats extended the lead to four after putting up a two-spot in the fifth. A Kolb double down the left field line got things started with one out. There were runners on second and third after another Klein singled and went to second on the throw to the plate. Kolb came home on a Chris Carrara sacrifice fly and Klein crossed the plate on a single by Guerrero.
The Saints answered with a pair of runs in the next half inning to cut the lead to one run. A single by Costa and a double by Sheldon led to a sacrifice fly by Cooper for the first run. Two batters later, a Richard Mercado single drove in Sheldon and made it a 4-3 ballgame.
St. Paul tied the ballgame in the eighth when Cooper led off with a solo home run on the second pitch of the inning. The score remained knotted at four until the bottom of the eleventh and the Guerrero heroics. Back-to-back singles by Klein and Massaro with one out set the stage for another thrilling victory for the home faithful. Guerrero lined a single to center on the 2-2 pitch as his teammates rushed the field for the fourth time in the last seven home games for the RailCats.The RailCats return to beautiful U. S. Steel Yard on Tuesday, June 21 for a 7:10 p.m. start against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Join the RailCats as we celebrate Halloween a few months early and challenge you to rid the park of the ghost that haunts U. S. Steel Yard! For more information on all-things RailCats or to purchase tickets to an upcoming home game, call the ‘Cats at 219.882.2255 or visit www.railcatsbaseball.