KANSAS CITY, Kan. 6-14-2010 – The Gary SouthShore RailCats wiped out a 7-2 seventh inning deficit with nine unanswered runs, then held on in the bottom of the ninth to earn a wild 11-9 win over the Kansas City T-Bones Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Ahead 4-0 after two innings, Kansas City starter Reid Santos retired 10 straight RailCats before departing after six with his T-Bones in front 7-2. The RailCats scored four times in the seventh inning to get close, tied the game with a run in the eighth and added four big runs in the ninth to lead 11-7. Kansas City scored twice in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying runs on base with one out before Andy Shipman got pinch-hitter Dwayne White to pop out and Eladio Rodriguez to hit into a game-ending fielder’s choice.
Louis Ott started the comeback with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning against Kansas City’s Erik Hamren, and following Chris Carrara and Adam Klein singles the RailCats had loaded the bases with no one out. Mike Massaro walked with one out to force in one run, and Cristian Guerrero singled to left to score two more and make it 7-5. After Jeff Beachum narrowly beat out a double play to keep the inning alive, Mike Reese reached on an infield base hit to close the gap to one.
In the eighth against Steven Stewart (2-1), Klein and Jay Pecci notched back-to-back two out singles to get runners to first and second. Massaro came up next and collected the third two-out single in a row, a line drive to left that tied the game.
Stewart stayed in to start the ninth and Beachum greeted him with a leadoff double, then went to third when Reese ripped a single past a drawn in Ryan Fox at first base to put runners at the corners. Stewart gave way to Justin James, who entered the game having allowed just three hits in nine appearances, and James retired the first man he faced. With one out, Tanner Townsend stepped in as a pinch-hitter and gave the RailCats their first lead with a line drive single to right on an 0-2 pitch. Two batters later, Klein slammed his fourth hit of the day, a rocket double into center to score two. Pecci brought Klein home moments later with a base hit.
The comeback was the largest of the year for the RailCats, who had previously erased no deficit larger than two runs. Klein had the first four hit day by a RailCat all season, going 4-for-5 and scoring four times. Guerrero and Massaro each had three RBI as the RailCats scored 11 times on 15 hits without the benefit of a home run.
Brad Furnish was forced to make an emergency start for the RailCats and gave up the four early runs in a three-inning outing. Zeb Engle (2-0) was the only RailCats pitcher who did not allow a run, covering the seventh and eighth by allowing just one hit and recording a pair of strikeouts to pick up the victory.
Kansas City actually out-hit the RailCats 17-15, including a 4-for-5 day for Klein’s counterpart, T-Bones centerfielder and leadoff man Keanon Simon. Simon nearly gave Kansas City the lead back with a blast to right-center in the bottom of the eighth, but Klein ranged far into the gap to make a running catch with the go-ahead run on base.
The RailCats (14-10) have won three games in a row and move into a tie for second place in the Northern League with Winnipeg and Kansas City (14-10), 2.5 games back of league-leading Fargo-Moorhead. The RailCats and T-Bones will do battle again Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. with Ryan Zink (1-1, 5.09 ERA) starting opposite Kansas City’s Cody McAllister (1-2, 4.87 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The win improved the RailCats to 10-3 in the month of June … Klein added to his four-hit day with a first inning walk and his team-leading ninth stolen base of the year. He also became the first RailCats hitter to score four runs in a game … Massaro, who had three RBI, had driven in only five runs all season before Monday … newly-signed Andy Weeks, a former LaPorte High School star, made his professional debut and allowed three runs on six hits over 3.0 innings.