5.1 shutout innings from Kaleb Fontenot in his first appearance sine coming off the Disabled List and two hits and three RBIs from Wisconsin native Colin Willis on Wednesday night led the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a 7-3 win over the Milwaukee Milkmen on Wednesday night at Routine Field. Wednesday’s win guarantees Gary at least a series split with Milwaukee and is the RailCats third victory in their last four contests.
Fontenot (1-4) yielded just two hits, walked one and struck out three in his first Independent Professional Baseball (IPBF) win. The right-hander didn’t allow a single baserunner to reach beyond first base, retired 11 consecutive hitters at one point and set down 14 of the first 15 hitters he faced.
Sandy Lugo (5) recorded the four-out save for his team-leading of the season. The right-hander retired all four batters he faced, three via strikeouts, in his first appearance of the series.
Angel Ventura (2-5) was charged with the loss for Milwaukee. The right-hander allowed a season-high six runs on six hits, three walks and two hit batsmen over three innings.
Gary (15-21) matched their run total from Tuesday night in the first inning alone with two runs. Zach Welz drew a five-pitch walk to begin the game before Evan Marzilli flew out to left for the first out of the night. Randy Santiesteban followed Marzilli with a double down the left field line, giving the ‘Cats two runners in scoring position. Willis then made it 2-0 with a two-run double off the right field wall on a hop, plating both Welz and Santiesteban for the game’s first runs.
The RailCats increased their lead to 6-0 with four more runs in the third. Welz drew his second walk to begin the inning before Marzilli pulled a single into right field, giving Gary runners on the corners. Marzilli then stole second before Santiesteban brought home Welz from third with an RBI groundout. Willis then drove in his third run of the night with an RBI single to right-center, scoring Marzilli. Tom Walraven then increased his season-high on-base streak to 25 games with a walk before Wilfredo Gimenez grounded out to first, moving Willis up to third and Walraven up to second. Ray Jones delivered the final runs of the inning with a two-run double down the right field, bringing around both Willis and Walraven.
Gary added their final run in the top of the eighth to go up by seven. Marzilli reached base for the fourth consecutive time with a leadoff walk before Santiesteban singled to center. Two hitters later, Alex Crosby brought home Marzilli with an RBI single to center in his only at-bat of the game.
Milwaukee (16-22) scored their only three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Cesar Valera walked to begin the inning before Manuel Boscan reached on a fielder’s choice. Jose Rosario reached on an infield single before Garrett Copeland brought home Boscan with an RBI single to left, however, a throwing error from Mooney on the play allowed Valera to score too. Adam Walker made it 7-3 with an RBI single to right for the final run of the night.
Gary concludes their season-long 10-game road trip against Milwaukee in the inaugural series at Routine Field on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RailCats left-hander Trevor Lubking (4-3, 3.83) makes his team-high 10th start against the Milkmen’s right-hander Zac Westcott (1-3, 5.80) in the series finale.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday, June 28th for a three-game homestand vs. the reigning American Association Champion Kansas City T-Bones. Friday’s game is AmeriCAN Beer Fest, presented by Berey Bros., Indiana 105 Country Night, and another Fifth Third Bank 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.