‘Cats can’t hold early lead, fall to Railroaders, 4-3, in series opener

‘Cats can’t hold early lead, fall to Railroaders, 4-3, in series opener

CLEBURNE, TEXAS — A 3-0 lead through two innings, four scoreless innings of relief from the bullpen and three hits from Alex Crosby wasn’t enough for the RailCats as Gary fell to Cleburne Railroaders, 4-3, in the opening game of the series on a hot Friday night at the Depot in Texas. Friday’s loss ends Gary’s streak of winning three straight series openers and drops the ‘Cats to 11-8 against the South Division on the year.

Gary (20-24) had the first four batters of the game reach safely and scored a pair of runs in the inning to take a 2-0 lead. Alex Crosby singled to center for the first of his three hits before Evan Marzilli walked. Will Savage then reached on a bunt single before Colin Willis drew a four-pitch walk, scoring Crosby for the first run of the night. Two hitters later, Wilfredo Gimenez brought home Marzilli on a bang-bang play with a sacrifice fly to right.

The RailCats added their final run with two outs in the second. Marcus Mooney doubled with one out before fellow South Carolina alum Marzilli brought him around to score with an RBI triple.

Cleburne (25-21) tied the game at 3-3 with a three-run third. Hunter Clanin doubled to begin the inning before Kenny Meimerstorf reached second base on a fielder’s choice. Former RailCat K.C. Huth got the Railroaders on the board with an opposite-field RBI single, scoring Meimerstorf from second. Huth was then picked off first before Daniel Robertson singled to left with two outs. Zach Nehrir followed Robertson with a two-out, two-run home run to left, evening the game at 3-3.

The Railroaders took the lead for good on a solo homer from former Major Leaguer Ryan Brett in the fourth. Brett’s solo shot was his fourth homer of the year and the last of two home runs on the night for Cleburne.

Jumpei Akanuma (2-1) was charged with his first professional loss in his third start. The right-hander went four innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out two.

Seth Hougesen tossed three scoreless innings out of the bullpen in his first professional relief appearance and hasn’t allowed a run in seven innings to begin his professional baseball career. Frank Moscatiello faced the minimum in the bottom of the eighth with a scoreless inning of relief.

Stephen Jackson (3-0) recorded his third win in his third start after allowing three runs on five hits and four walks over five innings. D.J. Sharabi and Martire Garcia each recorded holds with scoreless appearances out of the bullpen while Tyler Wilson (10) secured the win with a perfect top of the ninth in the save.

Gary continues their season-high-tying 10-game road trip on Saturday night in the middle game of the series against Cleburne at 7:06 p.m. RailCats’ left-hander Trevor Lubking (4-3, 3.91) makes his team-high 12th start against Railroaders southpaw Michael Gunn (3-0, 3.48).

Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard for the start of their season-long 10-game homestand on Friday, July 12th at 7:10 p.m. vs. the Cleburne Railroaders. Friday’s game is Kevin “Bacon” Night, and includes bacon themed concession specials throughout the stadium. Friday’s game is also Nurses Appreciation Night and another Fifth Third Bank Postgame Fireworks Friday.

Ticket packages for the 2019 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.