An early 1-0 lead and three RBIs from Colin Willis wasn’t enough for Gary on Monday night in the series opener against Sioux Falls as the RailCats fell to the Canaries, 10-4, at U.S. Steel Yard. Monday’s loss snapped Gary’s five-game winning streak and was the RailCats first loss during their six-game homestand.
Gary (32-27) took the opening lead for the sixth consecutive game with a run in the first inning. Alex Crosby recorded the first hit of the game with a single to center before D.K. Carey singled to right field, giving the RailCats runners on first and second. Randy Santiesteban then advanced Crosby to third with a flyout to right center before Willis brought home Crosby with a sacrifice fly to center.
Sioux Falls (26-35) jumped in front by a pair with three runs in the top of the fourth. David Bergin extended his season-high on-base streak to 20 games with a leadoff walk before Jabari Henry pulled a single to left, giving the Canaries runners on first and second. Two batters later, Jordan Smith drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Patrick Fiala then scored Bergin with a sacrifice fly to right, giving the Canaries their first run of the night. Jeff Malm followed Fialia with a two-out, two-run double to right-center, plating both Henry and Smith.
The RailCats quickly cut the Canaries lead to 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Willis extended his on-base streak to 14 games with a four-pitch walk before Ronnie Mitchell followed with a six-pitch walk. Wilfredo Gimenez then brought Willis around to score from second with an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
Bergin put Sioux Falls back in front by two with a two-out solo home run to left in the fifth. The homer was Bergin’s ninth of the season and his first of two on the night.
Gary tied the game at 4-4 on a two-run home run from Willis in the sixth. Santiesteban extended his on-base streak to 11 with a single to left before Willis launched his team-high sixth home run into the berm seating in right-center field.
Sioux Falls took the lead for good with a four-run eighth. Bergin put the Canaries in front by one with his second home run of the evening before Jordan Dean made it 6-4 with an RBI double. Fiala brought home Dean with an RBI single to center before Malm delivered the final run of the frame with a sacrifice fly to right.
Henry capped off the scoring with a two-run home run in the top of the ninth, giving Sioux Falls a 10-4 lead. Former RailCat Ryan Fritze (3-2) recorded his first win against his former team after tossing a scoreless bottom of the seventh while Gabe Perez (3-1) was charged with his first loss. The right-hander allowed five runs on six hits, four walks, a hit batsman and struck out a pair in a season-high 7.1 innings.
Gary resumes their six-game homestand and three-game series against Sioux Falls on Tuesday. LHP Alex Gunn (5-3, 4.23) makes his league-high-tying 14th start for the RailCats while the Canaries have yet to announce their starter. Tuesday’s game is another Taco Tuesday, featuring $2 beef tacos and $5 margaritas, and CHN Tuesday. Tuesday’s contest is also Strike Out Stroke, presented by Methodist Hospitals and Genentech.
Jared Shlensky and Brennan Mense bring you all 100 RailCats game this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at railcatsbaseball.com. Ticket packages for the 2018 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.