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4-run sixth too much to overcome in 8-3 loss to Wichita Wingnuts

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Game Highlights

Contact: Jared Shlensky
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WICHITA, Kan. —  A four-run bottom of the sixth and six innings of two-run ball from Wichita starter Jordan Cooper was too much for Gary to overcome in the series opener at historic Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night as the RailCats fell to the Wingnuts, 8-3. Gary still remains in second place in the North Division despite Monday’s loss, however, trail St. Paul by two games after the Saints shutout the Winnipeg Goldeyes, 4-0. Gary led Fargo-Moorhead by four games for the second and final playoff spot in the division heading into Monday, however, the RedHawks trailed the Chicago Dogs, 5-0, in the middle of the sixth before the game entered a rain delay.

Gary (53-40) took the opening lead of the series with a two-out run in the top of the first. D.K. Carey poked a single into right field for the first hit of the game before Colin Willis pulled an RBI triple down into the right field corner, brining around Carey from first.

Wichita (58-35) quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first. American Association hits leader Logan Watkins added to his hits total with a leadoff triple to right to begin the frame before scoring on Zach Nehrir’s RBI groundout to third.

Wilfredo Gimenez gave Gary back the lead with a solo home run to begin the top of the second. The home run was Gimenez’s third of the year and his first since July 1st.

The Wingnuts claimed their first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back singles from Tony Thomas and Chase Simpson gave Wichita runners on first and second. Thomas and Simpson then executed the double steal, moving both into scoring position before Nick Rotola brought home Thomas from third with a sacrifice fly to right. Leo Vargas put Wichita in front for good with a two-out opposite-field RBI single, scoring Simpson from second.

Wichita took the biggest lead of the series at 7-2 with a four-run sixth.  Three straight singles from Nehrir, Abel Nieves and Angel Reyes loaded the bases with no outs for Thomas. Thomas made it a 4-2 game with a bases-loaded walk before Simpson drove in Nieves from third with a sacrifice fly to left. Joh Nester brought home Reyes with an RBI groundout before Rotloa scored Thomas with an RBI triple to right.

Gary added their final run in the top of the seventh, trimming the Wichita lead to 7-3. Alex Crosby led off the inning with a double to left before Cole Fabio moved him up to third with a single to center, extending his career-high hitting streak to six games. Will Savage followed with an RBI groundout, plating Crosby from third.

The Wingnuts regained their five-run lead with the final run of the evening in the bottom of the seventh. Nehrir drew a five-pitch walk with one out before scoring on Nieves’ RBI double to right field.

Keaton Steele (4-6) was charged with his second straight loss after allowing a seven-high seven runs on eight hits, one walk and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Jordan Cooper (10-6) recorded his second win in his second start against Gary after yielding just two runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts over six innings.

Gary and Wichita play one another for the final time during the regular season at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. RailCats LHP Jeff McKenzie (5-9, 4.51) makes his team-high 19th start against the Wingnuts RHP Charlie Gillies (7-5, 4.44) in the series finale.

Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Saturday, September 1st for the final three regular-season games of the year. Saturday is Oktoberfest, presented by Berey Bros., and is a special 4:10 p.m. start time vs. the Kansas City T-Bones. Saturday’s series opener also features Kids the Run the Bases and is another Signature Saturday, courtesy of AccessAbilities, Inc.

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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