WINNIPEG, Manitoba 8-12-2010 – Jay Pecci and Mike Reese each hit home runs as the Gary SouthShore RailCats won their seventh game in a row, finishing a four-game sweep of the Winnipeg Goldeyes with a 10-2 win Thursday afternoon at Canwest Park.
The RailCats never trailed in the four-game series and complete an eight-game road trip with an impressive 7-1 record, taking three straight in Lake County before the dominating sweep of the Goldeyes, one of four teams the RailCats had been battling for a playoff spot entering the road trip. On the strength of the seven straight wins, the RailCats will end the day three games clear of a two-way tie for fifth place and maintain sole possession of third place with three weeks left in the regular season.
The ‘Cats collected 14 more hits Thursday, reaching double-digit hits for the sixth straight game, and the two longballs gave the RailCats home runs in each of their last nine contests. Over the seven-game win streak, the RailCats have scored 57 runs (7.1/game) and pounded out 92 hits (11.5/game).
Thursday, the RailCats jumped on Chris Salamida (9-6) right from the outset, with the third hitter of the game, Pecci, going deep for the second game in a row. Pecci’s home run was his fourth of the year and put the ‘Cats in front 2-0. In the series, Pecci went 9-for-16 (.563) to raise his season average 28 points.
Reese – starting for the first time in the series – took Salamida deep in the third to extend the lead to 4-0, his third homer of the year. The lead swelled to 5-0 when Pecci doubled with two outs and Cristian Guerrero tripled down the left field line to bring Pecci in to score.
Right-hander Nolan Nicholson (5-3) started for the RailCats and was very strong, going six innings and allowing just two runs (one earned) on seven hits. Nicholson allowed an unearned run in the fifth and another tally in the sixth, but the rookie was still able to avenge two earlier losses this season to the Goldeyes.
Pecci got the RailCats another insurance run in the seventh on a bases loaded single and the ‘Cats piled on with four more runs in the ninth. All nine RailCats starters had a hit in the game, with Guerrero, Ott and Adam Klein adding two hits to go along with a 3-for-4 day from Pecci, who scored three times and drove in three runs.
Salamida took the loss, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. Juan Diaz and Luis Alen each had two of Winnipeg’s eight hits.
The RailCats (41-36) return to U. S. Steel Yard Friday night at 7 p.m. to start a three-game series with the Lake County Fielders (31-44). Willie Glen (8-2, 2.83 ERA) is expected the make the start in the opener opposite a to-be-announced Fielders hurler. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Friday’s game is, of course, a Fireworks Friday at U. S. Steel Yard with a great postgame show to follow the game, presented by First Midwest Bank and the Post-Tribune. The RailCats will also bring some Friday Night Frights tomorrow night – it is Friday the 13th after all – commemorating all things creepy and strange during the ballgame and encouraging fans to come in their Halloween best. Tickets are still available by calling 219.882.2255 or visiting www.railcatsbaseball.com. Gates will open at 6 p.m. with the U. S. Steel Yard Box Office opening at 6 p.m.
Notes: At five games over .500, the RailCats have reached their high-water mark of the season … the RailCats improve to 27-16 on the road this year, easily the best road record in the league … the RailCats bullpen worked three scoreless innings in relief of Nicholson, and allowed just four runs in 15.0 innings in the series, with three of those runs coming in Monday’s series opener … the RailCats won the season series from the Goldeyes, 9-4, going 6-1 in Winnipeg.