Sports News

Magee, RailCats Blank Lake County, Take Series With 3-0 Win

Gary SouthShore RailCats BaseballGARY, IN. 6-6-2010Brandon Magee won his second straight start and four relievers combined to finish the shutout as the Gary SouthShore RailCats endured a rainy Sunday afternoon at U. S. Steel Yard to beat the Lake County Fielders, 3-0, and take two of three in the series.

Magee (2-2) has put back-to-back excellent starts together, striking out a season-high eight in 5.2 innings Sunday.  The former Blue Jays farmhand stranded two runners on base in each of the first three innings, then settled down to allow only six hits in total. Magee had his second inning of work interrupted by a 28 minute rain delay, and the game was delayed twice more as the RailCats grounds crew worked to keep the field playable in the face of persistent and sometimes heavy showers.

All the scoring in the game came in the third inning when the RailCats got to Lake County starter Garry Bakker (1-2).  Chris Carrara doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a Mike Massaro base hit.  Cristian Guerrero followed Massaro with an RBI single of his own – scoring Jay Pecci, who had walked – and two batters later Guerrero came in on a Bakker balk.  The RailCats had runners on in each of the first two innings and would threaten again in the fifth, but needed only the three third inning runs to prevail.

Lake County had chances all game, only to see the RailCats shut the door each time.  The Fielders stranded 12 runners in all, including the bases loaded in the sixth when James Baker came out of the bullpen and got Amos Ramon to pop out on a 3-2 pitch.  Tom Thornton and Jeff Williams cleared the seventh and eighth innings without any damage, and Andy Shipman struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his league-leading fifth save.

Massaro and Guerrero each had two hits to pace a seven-hit RailCats attack, with Massaro adding a fifth inning walk.  Jeff Dunbar had the only two-hit day for Lake County, going 2-for-4 as the Fielders matched the RailCats output with seven hits of their own.

The RailCats finish their six-game homestand with a 4-2 record, taking two-of-three from both the Fielders and Winnipeg Goldeyes.  Those series wins are the first two of the season for the RailCats, who have a chance the next time out to get to .500 for the first time this year.  The RailCats will, however, play 16 of their next 20 games away from home after starting the season with 12 of their first 17 games at home.

The RailCats (8-9) will enjoy an off day Monday before beginning a three-game series against the Rockford RiverHawks (7-9) Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Road Ranger Stadium.  The RailCats will have former New York Yankee Brad Halsey (1-1, 0.57 ERA) on the mound against left-hander Roger Lincoln (1-1, 3.54 ERA).  The game, like every RailCats game, will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.

The ‘Cats will return home Thursday night at 7 p.m. with one game against the RiverHawks.  It’s the first Money Giveaway of 2010, with the first 1,000 fans through the gates handed an envelope filled with up to $100 cash.  The giveaway is proudly sponsored by NIEMI Associates and Indiana 105.

Notes: Mike Rohde went 0-for-3 to see his six-game hitting streak come to an end … Magee’s eight strikeouts Sunday are the most by any RailCats pitcher in an outing this year … Magee had only eight strikeouts on the season entering Sunday … Shipman’s fifth save of the season gives him 18 in his career, tying him with Derek Lopez for third on the RailCats career saves list … Bakker, a former Fargo-Moorhead RedHawk, lost for the fifth time in nine lifetime starts against the RailCats.