GARY, IN. 6-28-2010 – The Joliet JackHammers scored in six different innings and Bear Bay fired seven scoreless frames as the ‘Hammers won the first game of a three-game series over the Gary SouthShore RailCats, 7-3 at U. S. Steel Yard Monday night.
Joliet tallied a pair of two-out runs in the first and never looked back, building their lead to 6-0 before the RailCats scored twice in the eighth and once in the ninth. Bay (3-2) let only five RailCats reach in the game – on four singles and one seventh inning walk – in winning for the first time since June 5. Bay struck out seven and lowered his season ERA to a tidy 2.95 in seven starts.
Reliever Zeb Engle (3-1) was forced to make a spot start for the ‘Cats and was victimized by a pair of bloop hits and a delayed steal that conspired to put two Joliet runs across in the first. With men at the corners and one two outs – with a run already in – Freddie Thon took off for second base and the RailCats caught Thon in a rundown, but could not get the tag on before Jon Nelson strolled home.
The JackHammers got another in the third on one of Nelson’s three RBI singles and Engle left after four innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Joliet tagged all four RailCats pitchers for runs – Engle, Brad Furnish, Aaron Cook and Jeff Williams – and out-hit the RailCats 13-8.
The RailCats finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth inning after Bay called out the Joliet trainer while he warmed up for the eighth. Mike Reese drove in both Adam Klein and Jay Pecci with a two-out base hit, and the RailCats added a run in the ninth on a double play groundout.
Mike Rohde had the only two-hit day for the RailCats, and Louis Ott’s ninth inning double was the ‘Cats only extra-base hit. Former Valparaiso University star Zach Rodeghero, in his RailCats debut, went 1-for-3 with a walk batting ninth and playing in right field.
Nelson went 3-for-5 with three RBI to pace the Joliet attack, as all nine JackHammers starters had hits. Kevin Rios and Thon were each 2-for-4 in the win.
The RailCats (20-18) and JackHammers (18-18) meet for the second of three games Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at U. S. Steel Yard. Left-handers Tom Thornton (1-1, 4.68 ERA) and Devin Anderson (1-1, 6.27 ERA) are slated to start, with the game to be carried live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
It’s a night of giveaways Tuesday at The Steel Yard, with the first 1,000 kids – age 12 and under – getting a free RailCats Piggy Bank, courtesy Wintrust Wealth. It’s also a Tuesday Kids Day, which means free admission for members of the RailCats Reading Club, free hot dogs for the first 1,000 youngsters and a free megaphone to the first 500 kids. The RailCats will also be paying tribute to Cristian Guerrero’s five home runs in five at bats June 9 in Rockford by giving away 1,000 commemorative posters from Boyd Asphalt and giving any fan who says “Guerrero” at the Box Office a $5 seat! Tickets are available by calling 219.882.2255 or at U. S. Steel Yard beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Notes: With the loss, the RailCats fell to just 8-9 and U. S. Steel Yard … Williams allowed a run in the ninth on a pair of Joliet doubles, snapping his scoreless streak at 16.2 IP … Cook pitched 3.0 innings Monday, his longest outing of the season.