KENOSHA, Wis. 6-11-2010 — Three straight two-out hits in the seventh inning pushed Lake County into the lead for the first team and the Fielders made it stand up for a 5-3 win over the Gary SouthShore RailCats in their first home game in franchise history Friday night at the Carthage Baseball Field.
After jumping out to a 3-1 lead, the RailCats did not score after the fifth inning and Lake County started their decisive rally when Cody Strait led off the seventh with a double. Willie Glen (1-2) came back to strike out Jeff Dunbar and get Andrew Riddick to ground out to preserve a 3-2 lead, but Kyle Higgins singled to right with two outs to score Strait and tie the game. And the Fielders weren’t done as Hank Lanto and Amos Ramon followed with consecutive singles, the second scoring Higgins to put Lake County in front for good.
After playing their first 20 games on the road, the Fielders opened the season at the tiny Division III school in Wisconsin while their new stadium is completed, but the night still drew 2,044 energized fans to campus and the festive night ended on the right side of the scoreboard for the new hosts.
The RailCats, meanwhile, lost for the first time in exactly a week and saw their season-long five-game winning streak come to an end. The ‘Cats got off to a great start in Friday’s game, with four of the first five batters reaching base, starting with an Adam Klein double and culminating with a two-run single with the bases loaded off the bat of Jeff Beachum. Fielders starter John Brownell would settle in after Beachum’s hit, retiring the next 12 hitters in a row and keeping the RailCats off the scoreboard before Jay Pecci’s fifth inning, two-out, run-scoring single.
Joshua Short paced the Lake County offense with two solo home runs, one leading off the second inning and the second extending the Fielders lead to 5-3 in the eighth. Lake County out-hit the RailCats 10-6 and got excellent work from their bullpen. Ryan Falcon (2-1) earned the win, and Garrett Sherrill and Chris Homer faced the minimum over the final two innings.
Klein had two of the RailCats six hits, and Pecci’s RBI single extended his hitting streak to four games. The ‘Cats also drew four walks in the game as Pecci, Klein and Tanner Townsend all reached base twice.
Glen went 6.2 innings, allowing nine hits and four runs to suffer his second loss. Brownell was bailed out by his offense after allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in 6.2 innings before departing on the hook for the loss.
The RailCats (11-10) and Fielders (8-13) resume their three-game series Saturday night at 6 p.m. Reigning Northern League Pitcher of the Week Brandon Magee (2-2, 3.57 ERA) will start for the RailCats while Garry Bakker (1-2, 3.91 ERA) replies for the Fielders. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: In four games against Lake County this year, which the teams have split, the RailCats have only 22 hits and are batting just .182 as a team … the RailCats have scored in the first inning in three straight games … the RailCats scored exactly three runs in a game for the ninth time this season.