CLEBURNE, TEXAS — Three hits from Zach Welz, six innings of there-run ball from Trevor Lubking and a four-run fifth inning led the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a 7-5 win over the Cleburne Railroaders on a hot and rainy Saturday night at The Depot. Including Saturday’s 68-minute rain delay after the top of the first inning, Saturday’s contest lasted a season-long four hours, 29 minutes.
Gary (21-24) scored in the first inning for the second straight game to take a 1-0 lead. Welz doubled down the left field line for the first hit of the night before advancing to third on a wild pitch from Cleburne starter Michael Gunn. Two batters later, Colin Willis came through with a two-out RBI single to center.
Cleburne (25-22) tied the game at 1-1 on John Nester’s solo home run to begin the frame. Ryan Brett doubled with one out before Hunter Clanin struck out. Nick Rotola gave the Railroaders their first lead of the night with an RBI triple into the right field corner before Logan Trowbridge made it a 3-1 game with an RBI single to right.
The RailCats trimmed the Railroaders lead to 3-2 with a run in the fourth. Wilfredo Gimenez singled to right with one out before Ray Jones brought him around to score with an RBI double to right-center.
Gary took the lead for good with four runs in the fifth. Alex Crosby singled to begin the inning before stealing second. Welz then tied the game with an RBI double to left before a groundout from Will Savage moved Welz up to third. Willis put Gary back in front with his second of two RBI singles before reaching third on back-to-back singles from Tom Walraven and Gimenez. Jones put the ‘Cats in front 5-3 with an RBI fielder’s choice, however, a throwing error by Railroaders shortstop Daniel Robertson on the double play attempt allowed Walraven to score from third for the fourth and final run of the inning.
The Railroaders cut the Railcats lead to 6-5 with a pair of runs in seventh. Robertson doubled with one out before scoring on an RBI infield single from Zach Nehrir. Two batters later, Nester pulled Cleburne within a run with a two-out RBI double to right-center.
Gary tacked on the game’s final run in the top of the ninth to go up 7-5. Savage tripled with one out before Walraven brought him home with an RBI double into the left field corner.
Cleburne brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after Nehrir singled with two outs but Felix Carvallo got Chase Simpson to line out to left to end the game. Carvallo (4) hasn’t allowed a run now in 9.1 innings and recorded his fourth save in his first appearance of the series.
Frank Moscatiello (4) and Ryan Thurston (5) each recorded holds out of the bullpen for Gary. Moscatiello allowed two runs in an inning while Thurston retired all three batters he faced.
Lubking (5-3) recorded the win in his league-high 12th start. The southpaw went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a pair. Railroaders reliever Braden Pearson (3-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) over 2.1 innings of relief on six hits.
Gary concludes their three-game road series against Cleburne on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. RailCats’ right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (1-3, 4.11) opposes Railroaders’ Jesus Sanchez (5-2, 3.95) in the rubber game.
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.