SCHAUMBURG, IL. 7-3-2010 – John Parham went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in and Mike Massaro and Mike Reese hit back-to-back first inning home runs as the Gary SouthShore RailCats slugged their way to a third straight victory, throttling the Schaumburg Flyers 15-7 Saturday night at Alexian Field.
For the second day in a row, the RailCats put up gaudy offensive numbers in a lopsided win. Saturday, the ‘Cats cracked five doubles, scored 10 times in the first four innings and had three four-run frames. The RailCats finished with 19 hits – their second-highest total of the year behind only Friday’s team-record 23 hits – and have now collected at least 10 hits in six of their last eight games. In two games this weekend, the RailCats have scored 26 runs on 42 hits and hit a collective .462.
The RailCats got started very early against Flyers starter Brett Harker (1-6), tallying four times before an out had been recorded. Harker walked Adam Klein and Zach Rodeghero to start the game before Massaro took him deep to right-center for his first home run of the year. One batter later, Reese drove one out to center to make it 4-0. The two home runs were the RailCats first two longballs since Reese’s game-winning extra-inning blast June 25 in Fargo and marked the first back-to-back home runs for the RailCats since Steve Haake and Cristian Guerrero did it June 15, 2008, also in Schaumburg.
After failing to score in the second inning, the ‘Cats got right back to work in the third. Rodeghero started things with his first RailCats double, and Massaro doubled on a fly ball to push runners to second and third. Jeff Beachum knocked Rodeghero in with a sacrifice fly, Massaro scored on a Mike Rohde single and Parham drove in two more when he just missed a home run, doubling off the left field wall.
Already leading 8-2, the RailCats tacked on two more in the fourth on a two-out, two-run single from Beachum. Parham drove home another in the fifth and the RailCats sent 10 men to the plate in a four-run ninth to round out the scoring.
Parham’s big day marked his first career four-hit and first career four-RBI game. The professional rookie snapped a long slump Friday night when he had three hits for the first time in his career. Massaro went 3-for-6 and also drove in four runs on what was likewise his second straight three-hit game. Beachum also notched three hits and three RBI, as all nine RailCats starters had hits for the second game in a row.
Nolan Nicholson (1-1) lasted five innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits to pick up his first career win. After the Flyers trimmed the lead to 11-7, Brad Furnish and Andy Shipman closed out the game by retiring nine straight hitters over the last three innings. Furnish worked the seventh and eighth and had three strikeouts.
The Flyers, who lost their seventh game in a row, did have 11 hits including the first home runs of the season from Joe Nowicki and Ron Bourquin. Nowicki also doubled and drove in three runs, while leadoff man Brandon Newton was 3-for-5 with three stolen bases and two runs scored.
Harker allowed 10 runs (eight earned) on 10 hits in a four-inning starter. Cody Evans pitched four one-run innings of relief before the RailCats touched up freshly activated Matt Elliott in the ninth.
The RailCats (23-19) and Flyers (14-28) finish their quick two-game series Sunday night at 6 p.m. The RailCats are undecided on a starter, while Schaumburg will go with left-hander Ryan Gehring (2-2, 4.50 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The 15 runs matched a RailCats season high first set June 9 in Rockford in the second game of a doubleheader … the RailCats hit .280 in June (nearly 90 points higher than their team average in May) before erupting in July’s first two games … before the game, the RailCats transferred pitcher Brandon Magee to the inactive list and placed veteran shortstop Jay Pecci on the disabled list, retroactive to June 29, with a left knee injury.