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RailCats fall back into first place tie with 9-5 defeat to Saints

Box Score

Game Highlights

Contact: Jared Shlensky
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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Seven two-out runs, 16 hits and an 8-0 lead after five innings for St. Paul was too much for Gary to overcome on Sunday in the final regular-season game of the year between the two teams as the ‘Cats fell to the Saints, 9-5, with 8,711 in attendance at CHS Field. Sunday’s loss moves Gary back into a first-place tie with St. Paul and is the first time the RailCats have dropped back-to-back series in the second half.

St. Paul (45-35) took the opening lead for the third time of the series with a pair of two-out runs in the first. Burt Reynolds and Brady Shoemaker got the inning going with back-to-back two-out singles before Zach Walters and Dante Bichette Jr. delivered the first runs of the game with back-to-back RBI base hits.

The Saints went up by three with another two-out run in the second. Justin O’Conner led off the inning with his first of two doubles. Three hitters later, Kyle Barrett brought in O’Connor with an RBI double to left. St. Paul moved in front by five with a pair of runs in the fourth. Joey Wong and Max Murphy drew back-to-back walks before Barrett reached on a bunt single. Reynolds then made it 5-0 with a two-run opposite -field single.

St. Paul took their biggest lead of the entire series with three more runs in the fifth. O’Connor recorded his second of two doubles before Wong worked another walk. Murphy then drove in O’Connor with an RBI single to left before Barrett followed with a two-run, hustle-double.

Gary (44-34) scored four of their five runs in the sixth to cut the St. Paul lead in half. Colin Willis got the ‘Cats their first run and extended his career-high on-base streak to 29 games with a bases-loaded walk. Tillman Pugh then extended his on-base streak to 25 games with a bases-loaded walk before Andy Paz increased his season-high hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single to center. Reggie Wilson followed Paz with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Willis from third for the RailCats final run of the frame.

The Saints added their final run in the bottom of the sixth. Bichette Jr. singled to center with one out before Nathaniel Maggio reached on a fielding error by Andy De Jesus, giving St. Paul runners on first and second. Two batters later, Wong followed with an RBI single to right.

Garrett Copeland cut the St. Paul lead to 9-5 with a two-out home run to right. The home run was Copeland’s third of the year and Gary’s second of the series

Former RailCats Jake Matthys (6-7) recorded the win in his first career start against his former team. The right-hander allowed four runs on six hits, walked two and struck out six over 5.1 innings. Alex Gunn (7-6) was charged with his third straight loss after allowing five runs on eight hits, a pair of walks and three strikeouts in a season-low 3+ innings.

Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Monday, August 13th for the start of a six-game, seven-day homestand. RailCats RHP Keaton Steele (4-3, 2.89) makes his sixth straight start against Goldeyes RHP Alex Boshers (3-8, 5.29) in the series opener.

Monday’s contest vs. the back-to-back American Association Champion Winnipeg Goldeyes is at 7:10 p.m. and is another All You Can Eat Night and Metro PCS Monday. Fans can purchase their $10 All You Can Eat Wristband for hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn at the box office before and during Monday’s game against the Goldeyes.

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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