FARGO, N.D. 6-26-2010 – Willie Glen let just six Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks reach base in the second complete game shutout of his 10-year career, a dazzling five-hitter that gave the Gary SouthShore RailCats a 7-0 win over the league leaders Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field.
Glen (4-2) won for the second straight time on the ‘Cats current seven-game road trip, following up a terrific seven inning outing Monday with one of his best in a RailCats uniform Saturday night. The veteran struck out seven and walked only one, just twice allowing a RedHawks runner to reach third base. Glen, making his 138th career start, had four perfect innings – including a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth – and only once had more than one runner reach in an inning. Including Monday’s outing in Winnipeg, Glen has not allowed an earned run to score in 16.1 straight innings and has lowered his ERA nearly two full points to 3.55 while becoming the ‘Cats first four-game winner.
The RedHawks mounted their most serious threat in the eighth inning, getting two men on with one out. On a 3-2 pitch, Glen struck out Carlo Cota – as both runners stole bases – before Glen fanned defending Northern League Player of the Year Nic Jackson to end the inning and leave both runners in scoring position.
The RailCats provided Glen with plenty of early run support, scoring four times in the first inning off Fargo ace Chad Rhoades (3-2). Mike Massaro and Tanner Townsend connected on back-to-back two-out doubles to get the scoring started in the first, followed by Jeff Beachum reaching on a Jesse Hoorelbek error. After Louis Ott walked to load the bases, Townsend scored from third on a wild pitch and Mike Rohde knocked in two more runs with a line drive single to left.
Rohde was in the middle of another RailCats rally in the third, doubling to the wall in straightaway center to give the RailCats a 6-0 lead. Ott had scored Massaro from third earlier in the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Rhoades left after Mike Reese’s leadoff double in the fourth, allowing six runs on eight hits in 3.0 innings. Coming into Saturday’s start, Rhoades was 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA. Jeremy Hauer – pitching against the RailCats for the first time since being named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 Northern League Championship Series – went a herculean six innings in relief, throwing 98 pitches and giving up an unearned run on three hits.
Glen’s outing was the first complete game thrown by a RailCats starter this year, and gave the RailCats as a team their fourth shutout already this season. It was just Glen’s fourth career complete game, and first since he blanked the Joliet JackHammers July 22, 2007 at U. S. Steel Yard. Glen carried a perfect game into the eighth inning that day and allowed only one hit.
Massaro and Townsend each had three hits for the RailCats, who out-hit Fargo-Moorhead 11-5. Rohde went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Former RailCats outfielder Mike Coles had the only extra-base hit off Glen, a sixth inning double, and went 2-for-3 in the loss.
The RailCats (20-16) close within two games of league-leading Fargo-Moorhead (20-12) with the win and will have a chance to win the four-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. The RailCats are still undecided on a starter Sunday to oppose RedHawks southpaw Scott Fogelson (3-1, 3.58 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: Glen’s eighth inning strikeout of Nic Jackson was the 900th of his 10-year professional career … Townsend’s three-hit game was his first of the season … the RailCats are 4-2 so far on their seven-game road trip through Winnipeg and Fargo … the ‘Cats will conclude a stretch of 16-for-20 games on the road Sunday, and are an impressive 10-5 so far on that swing … the shutout loss was the first for Fargo-Moorhead in 2010.