KANSAS CITY, Kan. 6-15-2010 – Down 11-0 after five innings, the Gary SouthShore RailCats scored 10 unanswered runs only to see their improbable comeback fall one run short in an 11-10 Kansas City T-Bones win Tuesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Just one night after erasing a five-run deficit after six innings, the RailCats looked buried Tuesday when Kansas City scored four times in the first and five times in the fourth to rush out to an 11-0 lead. But the RailCats put nine straight runners on base to start a six-run sixth inning, added one in the seventh and scored three times in the eighth to get within a run. The ‘Cats had one more chance in the ninth, getting the tying run on base before Justin James struck out Tanner Townsend looking to earn his sixth save.
The RailCats comeback began after Greg Tagert made wholesale defensive changes in the fifth inning, as catcher turned leftfielder John Parham singled to get the rally started in the sixth. After another hit, Jeff Beachum – one of three substitutes now in the game – cranked his fourth home run of the year, a three-run blast. Later in the inning, Cristian Guerrero, Mike Reese and Townsend hit consecutive run-scoring singles to make it 11-6.
Louis Ott homered in the seventh – his first of the year – to trim the lead to 11-7, and the RailCats started the eighth with a Townsend single and Mike Rohde walk. Chris Carrara walked later in the inning to load the bases, and the RailCats got their eighth run thanks to a wild pitch. A Beachum groundout – after another wild pitch – scored another run, and Ott came through with a two-out single to trim the lead to 11-10.
The RailCats had only two hits in the first five innings, but finished with 13 in the game to match Kansas City’s hit total. Ott went 3-for-3 after entering in the fifth inning, and Guerrero, Reese and Townsend each had two hits. Carrara went 1-for-3 to extend his hit streak to six games and Beachum had four RBI.
Kansas City got to work early against RailCats starter Ryan Zink (1-2), getting three two-out runs in the first, highlighted by a Dwayne White double, to make it 4-0. Jimmy Mojica homered in the second and Jim Fasano homered in the third to swell the lead to 6-0, and Jacob Blackwood hit a three-run blast during the five-run fourth that build the T-Bones their seemingly insurmountable lead.
Zink was tagged with the loss, allowing 11 earned runs on 13 hits in 5.1 IP, but did not allow a run after the fourth. The RailCats bullpen had a perfect night, with James Baker and Jeff Williams setting down all eight batters they saw, four on strikeouts.
Blackwood went 3-for-5 to pace the Kansas City attack, with Fasano, White and Mojica each collecting two hits. Cody McAllister (2-2) earned the win, despite being charged with six earned runs on seven hits in five-plus innings. McAllister was great through five, but did not retire any of the six batters he faced in the sixth.
The RailCats (14-11) and T-Bones (15-10) continue their wild series Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Right-hander Willie Glen (1-2, 3.72 ERA) will start for the RailCats against southpaw Brett Davis (2-1, 5.40 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: Guerrero was injured late in the game on a swing-and-miss and was replaced by pinch-hitter Brad Furnish in the ninth, who grounded out. Furnish was the RailCats starting pitcher Monday … Tuesday would have been the largest comeback in RailCats history, three runs greater than the team’s eight-run comeback July 29, 2008 in Winnipeg … Beachum and Ott’s home runs were the seventh of their respective careers … the RailCats used a total of 16 different players in the game … as part of the RailCats defensive changes, Townsend played the last four innings as the team’s centerfielder … the first two games of the series have featured a combined 41 runs on 58 hits.