GARY, IN. 8-4-2010 – Willie Glen pitched into the ninth for the third time this year and improved to 7-0 in his last 10 starts to lift the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a critical 6-4 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes Wednesday night at U. S. Steel Yard in the finale of a three-game series.
The win gave the RailCats their lone victory in the set against their longtime rivals and sent the ‘Cats off on the right foot as they begin an eight-game road trip Thursday. Glen (8-2) gave up an Aharon Eggleston triple to leadoff the game, but would not allow a runner past second base from the second through eighth innings. The Goldeyes got consecutive hits for the first time all night in the ninth against Glen, scoring three runs before Andy Shipman was summoned for his league-leading 16th save.
Glen ended up allowing four earned runs on nine hits in 8.1 innings, striking out seven against just one walk to improve his league-leading strikeout total to 84. The Northern League’s Pitcher of the Month in July, Glen has not lost since June 11 and is a mind-boggling 20-3 in his last 38 regular season starts in a RailCats uniform.
The evening did not start ideally for Glen, as Eggleston would score on a Kevin West sacrifice fly in the first to give the Goldeyes a 1-0 lead. The RailCats had a quick answer, however, when Mike Massaro blasted an Ace Walker (5-4) pitch in the bottom of the first into the grass berm in right-center for his second home run of the year and fifth in two seasons as a RailCat.
Glen would cruise after the first while the RailCats went to work against Walker, the 2009 Northern League Pitcher of the Year. Cristian Guerrero led off the fourth inning with a hit, moving to second two batters later on a Louis Ott single. Mike Rohde would follow Ott with a first pitch single into right to plate Guerrero and make the score 2-1. After Ott was thrown out at home on a failed squeeze bunt attempt, Mike Valadez doubled into right to score Rohde and grow the lead to 3-1.
In the fifth, Massaro reached on an error and went to second on a Jay Pecci base hit. Guerrero came through this time, ripping a double into the corner in left to score both runners. Rohde would tack on another run with his second RBI single of the night in the ninth, part of a three-hit day.
Winnipeg’s rally in the ninth started with Glen getting Justin Justice to fly out to right. Luis Alen and Vince Harrison were the next two hitters and both would single, then both men would come around to score on a Dee Brown double. Brad Furnish relieved Glen and Brett Wallace greeted him with a run-scoring double before Furnish got Eggleston to fly out. Shipman was brought in to face the right-hand hitting West Long and got a fly ball to left to end the game.
The RailCats out-hit Winnipeg 12-10 in the game, getting Rohde’s three hits and a pair of hits each from Pecci, Guerrero and Valadez. Eggleston, Harrison, Brown and Juan Diaz – who extended his hitting streak to 11 games – all had two hits for the Goldeyes.
The RailCats (34-35) eight-game road odyssey begins Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the Lake County Fielders (29-39) in Zion, Ill. Neither team has announced a starter for Thursday’s game, which is the opener of a four-game series. All the action will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: Valadez notched two hits for the third time in the last four games … Massaro’s home run was the RailCats only longball in the three-game series. The Goldeyes hit three home runs in the set … Glen has struck out seven or more in four of his last five starts … the win got the RailCats back within 1.5 games of the fourth place Goldeyes … the RailCats avoided being swept at home for the third time this year, but still lost their sixth home series of the season.