SCHAUMBURG, IL. 7-4-2010 — Ryan Gehring pitched into the eighth inning and the Schaumburg Flyers did just enough to end the Gary SouthShore RailCats three-game winning streak Sunday night with a 4-2 win at Alexian Field in the finale of a brief two-game series.
Gehring (3-2) gave up a pair of second inning runs, but the RailCats would not score again as the left-hander did not walk a batter in 7.1 innings. Joshua Giles relieved Gehring in the eighth and recorded the final five outs for his third save despite allowing a pair of hits and a walk. The win snapped a seven-game Flyers losing streak.
Schaumburg jumped in front with two first inning runs against Zeb Engle (3-2), making his second start of the season. Josh Burrus doubled in two runs before Engle recorded an out, but the Flyers would not tally again in the inning. The Flyers scored the eventual winning run in the fourth inning when they got runners to second and third with no one out before Joe Nowicki’s groundout plated Ron Bourquin.
The RailCats, who had scored 26 runs on 42 hits in the previous two games, did still collect nine hits in the contest but lost for the first time in 15 games this year when out-hitting an opponent. The RailCats lone scoring rally started with Cristian Guerrero, in his first at bat since injuring his left wrist June 15, doubling off the wall in right-center. Guerrero scored two batters later on a Louis Ott double, and Ott would come around on a Mike Rohde base hit that tied the game at two.
The ‘Cats would have precious few other scoring chances, but nearly tied the game in the top of the seventh. Ott lined his second double to the gap to start the inning and took third on a Rohde grounder. One batter later, John Parham hit a dribbler down the first base line that Gehring fielded and flipped home. Ott beat the throw but failed to touch the plate and was tagged out behind the dish by catcher Richard Mercado for the second out.
Engle went 5.0 innings in his longest stint as a professional, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits. Randy Johnson, signed just before the game, worked 1.1 scoreless innings in his pro debut. A 24-year-old right-hander, Johnson played collegiately at Division III UW-Whitewater from 2005-08. Aaron Cook pitched the eighth and allowed an insurance run despite surrendering only one hit and a pair of intentional walks.
Ott and Guerrero were each 2-for-4 in the game and collected the ‘Cats only three extra-base hits. Zach Rodeghero had a pinch-hit single in the ninth in his lone plate appearance. Mercado had the only two-hit game for the Flyers, who won for the third time in five games against the RailCats this season.
The RailCats (23-20) return to U. S. Steel Yard for a six-game homestand to end the first half of the season. The set starts Monday at 7 p.m. when the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (23-16) come calling to start a three-game series. Tom Thornton (1-2, 4.02 ERA) will be the scheduled RailCats starter opposite RedHawks left-hander Jake Laber (3-2, 4.25 ERA) and the game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
It’s a Day Late and a Dollar Monday at U. S. Steel Yard as the RailCats will celebrate the less-heralded Fifth of July with a great postgame fireworks spectacular and one dollar discounts throughout the ballpark. Plus, when fans buy one ticket they can get the second for just a buck on every NIEMI Associates Dollar Monday.
Notes: Mike Reese went 0-for-4 to see his eight-game hitting streak snapped … Rohde did extend his hitting streak to six games, although he failed to collect multiple hits for the first time during that streak … before the game the ‘Cats signed Johnson, activated Guerrero and placed Tanner Townsend on the disabled list, retroactive to June 27 with post-concussion symptoms.