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Patience at the plate pays dividends in RailCats 9-6 win

Contact: Jared Shlensky
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Box Score

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — A season-high 10 walks drawn by Gary led the RailCats to a 9-6 win over the Sioux City Explorers on Saturday night in front of 1,019 fans at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park. Anthony Cheky Jr. reached base a season-high six times while Colin Willis and Frank Martinez each drove in three runs.  

Ryan Fritze (3-0) remains perfect on the year after tossing 1.1 innings in the win. The Valparaiso University graduate allowed one run on three hits and a walk and struck out two while Jorge De Leon (3) secured the win with the save in the ninth.  

For the third straight game, Gary took the opening lead on a three-run first inning. Reggie Wilson drew a five-pitch walk to start the game before Cheky was hit in the foot. Willis made it 2-0 with a two-run double off the center field wall. Martinez followed Willis with an RBI single to right, extending the RailCats lead to 3-0. Two hitters later, Jaime Del Valle singled to center before John Holland drew a walk to load the bases. Kris Goodman was then hit, scoring Martinez for the final run of the inning.

Gary (8-8) made it 8-0 with two more runs in the second. Cheky pulled a double down the right field line to start then inning before Willis singled to center, giving the RailCats runners on the corners. A Kevin McCanna wild pitch scored Ceky from third before Martinez drove in his second run of the evening with a sacrifice fly to center, plating Willis from third.

The RailCats tacked on two more runs in the top of the third to take their biggest lead of the game at 8-0. Martinez drew a bases-loaded walk for the first run before Alex Crosby drove in the final run of the frame with an RBI fielder’s choice.

Sioux City (10-5) cut the Gary lead to six with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Nick Flair gave the Explorers their first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right. Nate Samson made it 8-2 with an RBI single to center.

The Explorers trimed the Gary deficit to three with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Former Chicago Cub Tony Campana led off the inning with his final of three hits. Flair followed with an RBI triple to left-center for his second RBI of the game to make it 8-3. Nate Samson cut the deficit to four with an RBI single before Kyle Ogle made it 8-5 with an RBI single, one of four hits for the catcher.

Gary scored their final run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Willis. Wilson started the inning with a walk before Cheky moved him up to third with a single to center. Sioux City scored the final run of the game courtesy of back-to-back doubles from Ogle and Nick Flair.

Mark Vasquez (0-1) suffered the loss in his American Association debut. The right-hander allowed six runs on five hits and three walks in just 1.2 innings.

Gary and Sioux City conclude their three-game series on Sunday evening at 6:05 p.m. 2016 All-Star Charle Rosario (1-2, 5.25) gets the ball for the RailCats in the series finale for the RailCats while the Explorers have yet to announce their starter for tomorrow.

The RailCats return home on Monday, June 5 for a seven-game homestand against the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and the Sioux City Explorers. Monday’s game vs. Fargo-Moorhead starts at 7:10 p.m. and is a MetroPCS Monday. Visit your nearest NW Indiana MetroPCS for a reserved seat ticket voucher on every MetroPCS Monday.

Jared Shlensky and Austin Anderson bring you all 100 RailCats games this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at Fans can purchase tickets for RailCats home games by calling (219) 882-BALL or online at The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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