GARY, IN. 6-30-2010 – Brad Halsey allowed just five hits in 7.2 innings and Mike Rohde drove in two as the Gary SouthShore RailCats knocked off the Joliet JackHammers 5-3 Wednesday night at U. S. Steel Yard, avoiding the sweep and snapping a season-long three-game losing streak.
Halsey (2-2) put together a second straight excellent start, limiting the JackHammers to just a pair of infield hits in the first six innings. The left-hander eventually worked into the eighth – his longest start of the year – allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and striking out five. The former New York Yankee, Arizona Diamondback and Oakland Athletic has been a victim of infrequent run support and won for the first time since May 27 despite lowering his ERA to 3.43.
The RailCats had trailed each of the first two games of the series 6-0 before getting on the scoreboard, but Wednesday night the ‘Cats scored first when Rohde tripled home Jeff Beachum with two outs in the fourth. After Joliet scored twice – on only one bunt hit – in the top of the fifth, Mike Reese tied the game by singling home Adam Klein with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning.
Rohde gave the RailCats the lead for good in the sixth on another extra-base hit, doubling off the wall in right to score Louis Ott, who had walked. Two batters later Todd Dulaney, signed just before the game and playing as a professional for the first time since 2005, singled through a drawn in infield to score Rohde with the eventual winning run.
Joliet made their first serious offensive push in the eighth, with Chris Colton walking with one out and going to third on a Kevin Rios single. Brad Correll grounded into a fielder’s choice to force Rios at second, but score Colton with Joliet’s third run. After a Jon Nelson singled bumped Correll up to third, Brad Furnish relieved Halsey and got dangerous Freddie Thon to bounce one off the plate that Furnish scooped up and whipped to first to end the inning.
Andy Shipman closed out the with a relatively uneventful ninth, allowing just a two-out single and getting Rafael Mendez to pop out to Dulaney to end the game. The save was Shipman’s league-leading 11th of the season but his first scoreless outing since June 19.
The RailCats out-hit the ‘Hammers 10-6, with Klein going 3-for-5 at the top of the lineup and Rohde and Mike Massaro each contributing two hits. Massaro ends June with 38 hits in 28 games and a .362 average for the month. Rohde, meanwhile, went 6-for-10 in the three-game series with the JackHammers.
Josh Flores had the only two-hit game for Joliet, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped. Rory Shortell (1-4) pitched well but took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 6.0 innings.
The RailCats (21-19) will enjoy their first off day since June 8 on Thursday before playing the first ever game at the brand-new home of the Lake County Fielders (15-22) Friday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. The ‘Cats will send Northern League Pitcher of the Week Willie Glen (4-2, 3.55 ERA) to start the game, which will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The ‘Cats snapped a four-game losing streak at U. S. Steel Yard with the win … the RailCats are now 12-0 this year when out-hitting their opponent … the RailCats played once again without a hitter available on the bench, as regular starters Tanner Townsend, Chris Carrara, Jay Pecci and Cristian Guerrero all missed the game with injuries … Dulaney, a former New York Mets draft choice who played two years in their farm system and spent 2005 with the then-Frontier League Rockford RiverHawks, was signed before the game. To make room on the active roster, catcher Yuki Matsumoto was placed on irrevocable waivers.