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Willis extends on base streak to 17, but ‘Cats drop fifth straight in 3-2 loss to Saints

08/10/2019 10:16 PM -

Box Score

ST. PAUL, MINN. — Colin Willis extended his on-base streak to 17 games and Seth Hougesen tossed five innings of two-run ball in his first career start against St. Paul but the RailCats fell to the Saints, 3-2, in front of 8,319 at CHS Field on Saturday night in a game that started 43 minutes late due to rain. Saturday’s defeat was Gary’s fifth straight and drops them to a season-worst 16 games below .500 and 19 games out of first place.

St. Paul (47-31) took a 1-0 lead with a run in the third. Blake Schmit picked up the Saints’ first hit with a bloop double to left-center before scoring on the first of two RBI singles from Dan Motl.

Gary (31-47) tied the game with its first run in the top of the fifth. Daniel Gardner singled to right to begin the inning before Marcus Mooney reached on a fielder’s choice. Alex Crosby followed Mooney with an opposite-field single on the hit-and-run, giving the ‘Cats runners on the corners. Gary then perfected the double steal with Crosby stealing second followed by Mooney swiping home on the throw down to second.

The Saints quickly regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Schmit walked with one out before Chris Baker singled to center. Motl followed Baker with the last of two RBI hits, giving the Saints back the lead.

The ‘Cats evened the game at 2-2 on an unearned run in the sixth. Willis drew his league-high 60th walk to begin the inning before stealing his team-leading 14th base. Wilfredo Gimenez then hit a soft grounder to Baker, however, the shortstop had it go off his glove into left-center field, allowing Willis to score from second.

St. Paul took the lead for good with a two-out run in the eighth. Brady Shoemaker reached base safely for the first time in the series with an infield single before moving into scoring position on a groundout off the bat of Jeremy Martinez. Josh Allen followed Martinez with an RBI single to center on the first pitch of the at-bat, bringing Shoemaker around to score from second for the game-winning run.

Felix Carvallo (2-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing one run on two in the bottom of the eighth. Karch Kowalczyk (2-1) picked up the win with the final five outs for the Saints. The right-hander retired five of the six batters he faced, two via strikeouts, and didn’t allow a hit.

Gary concludes its three-game series in Minnesota against St. Paul at CHS Field on Sunday night at 5:05 p.m. RailCats right-hander Nile Ball (1-0, 5.21) opposes Saints left-hander Jordan Jess (5-0, 3.00) in the series finale.

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.

--RAILCATS--

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