FARGO, N.D. 7-19-2010 – Willie Glen allowed just an unearned ninth inning run in his third superlative start of the year against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, pitching the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a 6-1 win Monday night at Newman Outdoor Field in the opener of a four-game series.
Glen (5-2) returned to the scene of his second career complete game shutout for the first time since that game June 26 and nearly did it again, carrying a shutout to the ninth before Nic Jackson reached on an error and scored on an Eric Campbell base hit. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed just seven hits Monday – three in the first seven innings – and struck out a season-high nine with only one walk in 8.1 innings.
In three starts against Fargo this year, Glen has allowed just Monday’s unearned run in 24.1 innings, striking out more hitters (20) than hits allowed (15). The Indianapolis native is 4-0 in his last six starts, lowering his ERA to 2.95, second among all Northern League starters. Glen has not lost since June 11 and has not allowed an earned run in four of his last five starts.
The game looked like a pitcher’s duel on paper, with Matt Mossey (3-2) facing the RailCats for the first time since losing a perfect game in the eighth inning June 24. And Mossey looked every bit Glen’s equal before three straight two-out hits in the fourth inning got the ‘Cats on the board. John Parham, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, delivered the run-scoring single.
In the fifth, the ‘Cats went right back to work when Adam Klein narrowly missed a home run with a deep drive to right and ended up on third base with what was scored a double and error (bobble) on rightfielder Mike Coles. Jay Pecci followed Klein and unloaded on a deep home run to left, his second of the year, and the RailCats took a 3-0 lead.
Fargo-Moorhead had few chances against Glen, who retired nine in a row before the start of the eighth inning. Jay Cox singled to start the eighth and went to third on a Carlo Cota double to set up a glorious chance for the ‘Hawks with the RailCats lead looking tenuous at 3-0. But Glen bore down, striking out Kole Zimmerman, getting Mike Coles to pop out and overpowering Zach Penprase, who swung and missed at three straight fastballs to end the inning.
Cristian Guerrero gave the RailCats some insurance in the ninth with a two-out triple to straightaway center, scoring both Chris Carrara and Mike Massaro. Guerrero would score moments later on a wild pitch to give the RailCats their six runs.
Guerrero, Pecci and Louis Ott had two hits to lead the RailCats, who got hits from seven of their nine starters and out-hit the RedHawks 10-7. Campbell, Cota and Jesse Hoorelbeke had three hits each for the RedHawks.
The win was the third straight for the RailCats, who climbed within a game of .500. The ‘Cats won three straight games June 30 – July 3 before their eight-game losing streak, which has now been followed with their three latest wins. The RailCats have also won three of five games in Fargo this summer.
The RailCats (26-27) and RedHawks (31-19) continue their four-game series Tuesday night at 7:02 p.m. with left-hander Tom Thornton (1-5, 4.44 ERA) slated to start for the ‘Cats opposite Tyler Seaman (1-0, 2.89 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: Massaro went 0-for-4 to see his nine-game hitting streak end … Parham’s RBI single extended his hitting streak to seven games … Brad Furnish came on in relief of Glen and got Cox to hit into a game-ending double play with two on … the RailCats have tripled in three straight games.