September 1, 2022
Contact: Ryan Zimmerman
Phone: 219-882-2255
[email protected]  

Homer Happy RailCats Survive Cougars in Series Finale 

Gary, IN – The Gary SouthShore RailCats swung the bats with authority as they launched three long balls in their 8-6 win over the Kane County Cougars. 

After leaving a few runners on base in the first two innings, the RailCats broke through in the bottom of the third.  Daniel Lingua and LG Castillo registered back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on first and second base, and Jesus Marriaga doubled to left field to get the ‘Cats on the board.  Tom Walraven added a base hit two batters later to tack on another run. 

That set Sam Abbott up at the plate with runners on the corners, and he launched a three-run home run onto the berm in right field, capping off a five-run frame.  His long ball marked his 20th of the year, breaking a tie with Cristian Guerrero to claim the franchise’s single-season record and becoming the first-ever RailCat to hit 20 in one season. 

The Cougars made their way into the run column through a solo home run in the top of the fifth, but the RailCats quickly answered back by plating a pair in their half of the inning.  Castillo led off by depositing a home run over the left field wall, and following a Victor Nova walk and Walraven reaching on an error, Abbott lined a single to center field to extend the Gary SouthShore lead to six runs at 7-1. 

However, Kane County refused to go down easily.  An RBI single cashed in a walk and ground rule double to open the top of the sixth, but as Kane County base runners stood on the corners with just one out, RailCats starter Adam Heidenfelder took matters into his own hands.  A strikeout and flyout eliminated the threat, and Gary SouthShore took a five-run advantage into the final three frames. 

Once again, the Cougars offense sprung to life in the seventh.  A walk and an error positioned runners on first and second before a home run reduced Kane County’s deficit to two at 7-5. 

Heidenfelder remained in the game to finish the inning, and in doing so, he reached 100 innings pitched in 2022, the first time he achieved that milestone in his career. The right-hander finished the night allowing five runs (two earned) on four hits, striking out five, improving his record to 7-6. 

In need of late-inning insurance, Walraven stepped up to give the RailCats some breathing room. He connected on a solo home run, his 12th of the season, restoring the Gary SouthShore edge to 8-5. 

Kane County, though, continued to hang around, and two walks in the top of the eighth inning moved the tying run into the batter’s box. At that moment, the ‘Cats turned to Jack Eisenbarger out of the bullpen, and he struck out six-year Major League veteran Nick Franklin to squash a potential rally. 

As the RailCats stood three outs away from the victory, the Cougars mounted one last rally to tie the contest. The first two batters of the ninth inning placed the tying run up at the plate, but a double play brought Kane County down to their final out. The next batter singled to score a run and put the tying run at the dish once again, but Eisenbarger conjured up a strikeout to close out the win. 

The RailCats return to The Steel Yard tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. as the Milwaukee Milkmen head to town for a four-game series to conclude the 2022 season. All the action can be streamed on, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.