GARY, IN. 8-17-2010 – Adam Klein delivered a two-out, game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth inning, then drove in the winning run with a base hit in the 11th as the RailCats rallied back to beat the Schaumburg Flyers 5-4 Tuesday night at U. S. Steel Yard.
After the Flyers rallied for four runs from the sixth through eighth innings to take a 4-3 lead, the RailCats looked in deep trouble in the bottom of the ninth when Brian McCullough retired the first two batters on ground balls. Pinch-hitter Mike Reese kept the inning alive with a base hit and Chris Carrara was hit by a pitch to get the tying run to second. That brought up Klein, who lined a single to center to score Reese from second and tie the game 4-4.
The RailCats danced out of danger in the top of the 10th and 11th innings to get the game to the bottom of the 11th where John Parham, hitting for the first time in the game, led off with a single. Carrara got a bunt down on an 0-2 pitch to get Parham to second to once again setup Klein, who this time singled into the left field corner to bring Parham around and get the RailCats their second walk-off win in the last three nights.
The RailCats jumped on Schaumburg starter Brett Harker early, tagging the right-hander for three runs in the second inning. Five straight RailCats reached in the inning with run-scoring hits provided by Mike Valadez, Carrara and Klein, although the RailCats made the final two outs of the inning on the bases. After the second, the RailCats would have just three more hits before the ninth, and the Flyers would eventually find their bats.
Nolan Nicholson was excellent to start the game for the RailCats, keeping Schaumburg off the board through five before allowing a run in the sixth. Nicholson went six innings and allowed just the one run on seven hits, striking out five. The Flyers got another run in the seventh when Ruddy Yan tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Schaumburg would then take their first lead on a two-run Tommy Fitzgerald triple in the eighth.
Schaumburg had multiple other chances to score, but RailCats relievers were able to wiggle their way out of danger each time. It started in the eighth, when Aaron Cook stranded Fitzgerald at third with one out after his triple. The Flyers would load the bases with no one out in the 10th against Andy Shipman, but Shipman turned a neat double play when he caught a broken-bat Fitzgerald line drive and fired to third for a second out. After a wild pitch got runners back to second and third, Shipman struck out Chris Schultz to end the inning.
The Flyers rallied again in the 11th, getting runners to first and second with one out against Zeb Engle with Mario Delgado coming to the plate. After a long battle, Engle struck out Delgado swinging on a 3-2 pitch and Parham threw to third to wipe out Yan trying to steal.
Schaumburg out-hit the RailCats 14-13, with Kit Pellow posting his second straight 3-for-5 day. Ron Bourquin also had three hits for the Flyers. Klein went 4-for-6 with three RBI to lead the RailCats, who got hits from nine different players in the win. Klein’s four-hit day gives him 102 hits on the season as he becomes just the 11th RailCat to post a 100-hit season in franchise history. Klein is only 13 hits behind Jay Pecci’s franchise hits record of 115 set in 2008.
Tuesday’s game was the sixth in the last 12 games for the RailCats that was decided in the ninth inning or later and the fourth in as many nights, as Schaumburg came back to win Monday’s game 7-6 with runs in the eighth and ninth. After going 0-34 to start the year when trailing after eight innings, the RailCats are 4-0 the last four times they’ve entered the ninth facing a deficit.
The RailCats (44-38) and Flyers (32-49) close out their three-game series Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at U. S. Steel Yard. Right-hander Willie Glen (9-2, 2.93 ERA) will start for the RailCats with left-hander Ryan Gehring (3-8, 5.16 ERA) answering for the Flyers. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Wednesday’s also a special day at The Steel Yard because The Famous Chicken will make his only Northwest Indiana appearance of the summer. The clown prince of baseball, The Famous Chicken has been entertaining baseball fans around the country for more than 30 years, and his appearance will also coincide with a Wet Your Whistle Wednesday where fans 21 and over can get $2 MGD and Miler Lite drafts all night. Tickets are still available by calling 219.882.2255 or stopping by the U. S. Steel Yard Box Office Wednesday after 10 a.m.
Notes: The RailCats improve to 6-2 in extra-innings with the win … Tuesday was the fourth straight one-run game played by the RailCats and their league-leading 22nd one-run game of the season … RailCats pitchers combined to strike out 11 in the game.