GARY, IN. 6-2-2010 — The Winnipeg Goldeyes piled up 15 hits against five different pitchers to beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats, 5-3 Wednesday night at U. S. Steel Yard in the finale of a three-game series. The ‘Cats won two of three games in the set, however, to earn their first series win of the season.
Winnipeg took an insurmountable lead with four runs in the fourth inning, loading the bases with one out to chase starter and losing pitcher Zach McClellan (0-2). Tom Thornton came out of the bullpen, and after Aharon Eggleston singled in one run to make it 2-1 Goldeyes, Thornton whiffed Juan Diaz. With the bases still loaded, though, Kevin West stepped in with two outs and drove all three runs home with a long double off the fence in center.
The RailCats crept within two runs in the fifth inning against reigning Northern League Pitcher of the Year Ace Walker (2-0), putting Tanner Townsend and Yuki Matsumoto in scoring position with two outs for Adam Klein. The red-hot RailCats centerfielder delivered with a single to right, scoring both runs and making the score 5-3. Klein, who was 1-for-4 Wednesday, is 6-for-13 in four games since moving to the top of the RailCats lineup.
The RailCats would get no closer than two runs down the rest of the way, however, with Winnipeg tacking on two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth on Diaz’s fifth home run of the year. The 15 hits allowed are the most given up by the RailCats in a game this season, and Winnipeg also drew five walks and took advantage of three errors to leave 13 runners on base despite the eight runs.
In the bottom of the first inning, the RailCats actually got the scoring started when Mike Massaro drew a two-out walk. On a 3-1 pitch, Massaro took off for second as Cristian Guerrero laced a base hit into right-center, sending Massaro all the way around from first. Winnipeg tied the game in the top of the next inning on a run-scoring Jeremy Hamilton double.
Walker went seven innings to earn the win, allowing three earned runs on five hits. McClellan suffered the loss, giving up seven hits and walking three in 3.1 innings.
Guerrero had the only two-hit day for a RailCat, one night after his game-ending home run gave the RailCats a doubleheader sweep of the Goldeyes. Eggleston, Diaz, West, Vince Harrison, Josh Asanovich and Hamilton all had two hits for Winnipeg, as all nine starters tallied at least one base hit.
The RailCats (6-8) will be off tomorrow before opening a three-game series Friday at 7 p.m. at U. S. Steel Yard against the Lake County Fielders (5-9). Ryan Zink (1-0, 2.92 ERA) will start Friday for the RailCats against right-hander Zach Ward (0-2, 4.22 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Friday is Cubs-White Sox night at U. S. Steel Yard as the RailCats celebrate Chicago’s baseball rivals, with the ‘Cats donning replica Cubs jerseys to be auctioned off after the game. Proceeds from the jersey auction will be donated to the Joe Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund to benefit a Gary youth. After the game, fans can enjoy another great Fireworks Friday show, presented by First Midwest Bank and the Post-Tribune. Tickets are still available for the game by calling 219.882.2255, logging on to www.railcatsbaseball.com or stopping by the U. S. Steel Yard Box Office.
Notes: McClellan’s outing was the shortest by a RailCats starter this year … Townsend started the game in right field, his first game in the outfield since 2005 and just the third time in his career he’d played in the outfield …Thornton was activated from the disabled list before the game. He had not pitched since injuring his arm May 21. To make room for Thornton on the active roster, outfielder Mike Reese was placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, an injury suffered last Friday in Schaumburg.