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RailCats smash Wingnuts, 7-2, in series opener

Box Score

Game Highlights

Contact: Jared Shlensky
[email protected]

GARY, Ind. — Five innings of one-run ball from Gabe Perez, three scoreless innings of relief from Scott Plaza and two RBIs apiece from Alex Crosby, Andy De Jesus and Andy Paz paced the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a 7-2 victory over the Wichita Wingnuts on Friday night with 4,382 in attendance at U.S. Steel Yard. Gary never trailed on the night and are now 17-3 in the second half.

Gary (41-28) scored first for the 14th time in their last 16 games after putting up a pair of runs in the second inning. Colin Willis extended his career-high on-base streak to 21 games with a single to center for the RailCats first hit of the night before Tillman Pugh pulled a double into left field, giving Gary a pair of runners in scoring position. After Andy Paz struck out on three pitches, Wilfredo Gimenez lifted a sacrifice fly to center, bringing home Willis from third for the first run of the series. Andy De Jesus followed with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring Pugh from third for the second and final run of the inning.

The RailCats increased their lead to 6-0 after scoring four runs in the fourth. Back-to-back singles from Randy Santiesteban and Willis to open the bottom of the frame gave Gary runners on the corners before Pugh drew a leadoff walk to load the bases. Paz then extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single to left. After Gimenez struck out, De Jesus brought home his second run with a bases-loaded walk. Two batters later, Crosby delivered a two-out, two-run single to right-center, plating Pugh and Paz.

Wichita (43-28) avoided being shutout with their first of two runs in the top of the fifth. Nick Rotola drew a leadoff walk before Logan Watkins doubled off the base of the right field wall, giving the Wingnuts runners on second and third. Perez then threw a wild pitch to the backstop with Abel Nieves batting, allowing Rotola to score from third.

Gary went back in front by six with another run in the bottom of the fifth. Santiesteban led off the frame with a single to center before Pugh floated a double down the right field line, giving the ‘Cats two runners in scoring position. Paz followed with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Santiesteban from third.

Wichita cut the Gary lead to 7-2 with the final run of the game in the top of the ninth. Rotola singled to right to begin the inning before a groundout to second from Leo Vargas moved Rotola into scoring position. Two hitters later, Zach Nehrir drew a walk before Logan Trowbridge brought home Rotola with a two-out RBI single to right.

Perez (4-1) recorded the win after allowing just one run on two hits, a career-high-tying five walks and struck out five over five innings while Casey Harman (8-3) was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on eight hits, two walks and four strikeouts in four innings. Despite allowing a run in the top of the ninth, Jack Fowler secured the win with the final three outs in the top of the ninth.

Gary continues their six-game homestand and three-game series vs. Wichita on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. RailCats LHP Alex Gunn (7-3, 4.03) makes his league-high 16th start against Wingnuts RHP Charlie Gillies (6-3, 3.47) in the middle game of the series.

Saturday’s game is Star Wars Night with the 501st Legion and features Pre-Game Autographs, courtesy of AccessAbilities, Inc., and Kids Run the Bases. Bring a ball and a pen as your favorite RailCat players will be signing autographs before the game on the concourse and Darth Vader, his storm chasers and all your favorite characters with Northern Darkness Garrison of the 501st Legion will be at Saturday’s game. And remember to stick around after the game as kids will get a chance to run the bases.

Jared Shlensky and Brennan Mense bring you all 100 RailCats game this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at Ticket packages for the 2018 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at 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.

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About the Railcats

A day at Steel Yard is non-stop fun, and that's even without the baseball! The RailCats promise a wide array of laugh-out-loud between inning entertainment, great giveaways, jaw-dropping fireworks and a family-first, kid-friendly atmosphere! RailCats fans come in all ages, shapes, and sizes, and the RailCats promise every fan will have fun. 

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Gary, IN 46402