July 3, 2022
Contact: Ryan Zimmerman
Phone: 219-882-2255
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Monarchs Walk-Off on RailCats in Series Finale 

Kansas City, KS – The Gary SouthShore RailCats battled tooth and nail against the Kansas City Monarchs, but an extra-inning walk-off grand slam propelled the hosts to an 8-4 victory. 

It did not take long for the offenses to find their footing, as the Monarchs scored the game’s first run on the first pitch they saw.  Darnell Sweeney blasted a leadoff home run to kick off Kansas City’s day at the plate and put them in front 1-0. 

However, the RailCats roared back in the top of the second.  Victor Nova took advantage of a misplay in right field to register a leadoff double, and Jesus Marriaga plated him on a base hit up the middle just two pitches later to tie the game at one. 

Shortly afterward, Gary SouthShore grabbed their first lead in their next turn at-bat. Jackson Smith led off with a base hit, and Alec Olund moved him up to third on a double.  Though the Kansas City defense recorded the first out of the inning at home plate, Michael Woodworth helped the ‘Cats load the bases by taking a fastball off the helmet.  Daniel Lingua took full advantage of the situation and lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing the RailCats to pull ahead 2-1. 

Nevertheless, as soon as they found themselves up on the scoreboard, the Monarchs responded to level the game back up at two in the bottom of the third.  David Thompson converted a two-out single with runners on first and third to place both teams on equal footing through the contest’s first third. 

Both teams traded zeros in the fourth before the RailCats plated a pair in the top of the fifth thanks to Tom Walraven.  Olund came up with a one-out triple, and Walraven blasted a baseball out of Legends Field.  His fourth home run of the season provided Gary SouthShore a 4-2 advantage. 

Playing from behind once again, the Monarchs wasted no time cutting into their newfound deficit.  Back-to-back doubles and a walk to start the bottom of the fifth positioned the tying and go-ahead runs on base, but the heart of the Kansas City order could not get either home, and the RailCats remained up by a run. 

Kansas City gave the RailCats trouble once again in the sixth as a single and walk created nearly the exact same scenario, although a move to the bullpen bailed them out of trouble.  Manager Lamarr Rogers called upon reliever Josh Vincent to work around the leadoff baserunners, and he conjured three consecutive outs to tiptoe out of a jam and keep their lead intact. 

Vincent tossed a scoreless seventh as well to hold the Monarchs at bay, and Jack Eisenbarger carried on in the eighth.  He fanned former Major Leaguers Gaby Guerrero and Pete Kozma consecutively as he kept the Gary SouthShore edge at one heading into the ninth. 

Down to their final out, the Monarchs conjured up the luck they needed to tie the ballgame.  Two straight hit batsmen and a throwing error brought the score to 4-4, but as the winning run stood at third base, Eisenbarger once again fanned Guerrero to force extra innings. 

A couple of clutch defensive plays kept the ‘Cats from tallying the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, and the Monarchs immediately battled to produce a walk-off win.  Two punchouts in a row held the winning run at second, but two walks loaded the bases for Jan Hernandez, and his grand slam sealed a Kansas City victory. 

The RailCats return home to The Steel Yard as they host the Lake Country DockHounds at 6:45 p.m. for a Fourth of July celebration.  All the action will be streamed on, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.