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Pugh's 12th inning walk-off blast lifts Gary to 2-1 win

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Contact: Jared Shlensky
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GARY, Ind. — Leading 1-0 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Lincoln tied the game on an RBI single from Curt Smith, however, Gary departed U.S. Steel Yard with the win courtesy of Tillman Pugh’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th. The walk-off victory was Gary’s fifth of the year, increased the RailCats extra-inning record to 5-1 and evened the series.

Sharion Martis retired his fifth straight hitter after getting Alex Crosby to fly to left to begin the bottom of the 12th before allowing the walk-off home run to Pugh. The homer was Pugh’s fifth of the year and extended his on-base streak to 21 straight games.

Lincoln (34-40) forced extras with their only run in the top of the ninth after Myles Smith replaced Gabe Perez. Smith walked former MLB first baseman Dan Johnson on four pitches before allowing a single to Christian Ibarra. Smith then struck out Alex Glenn before allowing a single to Randolph Oduber, however, Johnson tried to score from second but was thrown out at home by D.K. Carey, who replaced Colin Willis as a defensive replacement at the start of the inning. Behind 0-1 in the count, Smith tied the game with an opposite field single.

Gary (43-30) scored their first of two runs on Willis’ two-out RBI double in the first inning. Randy Santiesteban drew a two-out walk before Willis extended his career-high on-base streak to 24 games with his RBI double.

Lars Liguori (2-6) recorded the win in his return from the disabled list after getting Saltdogs catcher Dashenko Ricardo to groundout on the only pitch he threw in the top of the 12th with runners on first and second while Martis (1-4) was charged with the loss after allowing one run on three hits, no walks and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief. 

Gabe Perez yielded three hits, walked none and struck out a season-high nine batters in a season-best eight shutout innings. The right-hander didn’t allow a single baserunner to reach second base, retired 14 in a row at one point and matched his career-high for longest scoreless outing.

Gary resumes their three-game series vs. the Lincoln Saltdogs on Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. RailCats LHP Alex Gunn (7-4, 4.38) faced Saltdogs LHP Eric Wooten (1-6, 3.78) in the final regular-season game of the year between the two teams. Wednesday’s game is another “Office Wednesday”, Pretzel Night, NorthShore Health Centers Wednesday and Wine Wednesday. Fans can sign up for the “Office Wednesdays” Jersey Auction during the game and can also purchase $2.50 Bavarian Pretzels and $4 Barefoot Wine and Barefoot Refresh Spritzers.

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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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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