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RailCats take middle game in extras to even series

Contact: Jared Shlensky
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Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score

LINCOLN, Neb. — After falling 4-3 to Lincoln in the completion of Friday’s suspended game, Gary defeated the Saltdogs, 5-4, in eight innings in the middle game of the series on Saturday. Randy Santiesteban scored the go-ahead run in game two on a fielding error from Cesar Valera to even up the series.

Lincoln (18-10) ended the scoreless drought in game one with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon O’Brien led off the frame with a single before advancing to second on wild pitch. Two batters later, Brandon Jacobs brought home O’Brien with an RBI single down the left field line.

Gary (15-15) took their first lead with a pair of two out runs in the top of the seventh. With runners on second and third, Reggie Wilson delivered a two-run single to center, scoring Wilfredo Gimenez and John Holland.

The Saltdogs regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, going in front of the RailCats, 4-2. Ivan Marin tied the game with an RBI single to center before Valera gave Lincoln back the lead with a two-out, two-run single.

The RailCats cut the Saltdogs lead to 4-3 in the top of the ninth on Antony Cheky Jr.’s pinch-hit sacrifice fly but couldn’t score another to tie up the game. Holland went 4-for-4 with two runs and a double to lead the offense in Friday’s suspended game.

Ryan Fritze (4-1) was charged with his first loss of the year after allowing two runs on three hits and a pair of walks in an inning of relief. Ben McKendall (1-1) earned the win with two innings out of the bullpen while Michael Wagner (5) secured the win with the save in the bottom of the ninth.

Gary took a 3-0 lead in Saturday’s eight-inning contest with a three-run top of the second. Back-to-back wild pitches from Derek Gordon scored Alex Crosby and Ryan Fitzgerald to put the RailCats in front by two. Santiesteban gave the RailCats a three-run lead with a solo home run into the lawn seats in left field. The homer was Santiesteban’s first of the year and the team’s eighth.

Lincoln trimmed the RailCats lead to 3-1 with a run of their own in the second. Randolph Oduber walked to start the inning before Christian Ibarra singled to left, giving the Saltdogs runners on first and second. Two hitters later, Marin scored Oduber with an RBI single to center.

The Saltdogs made it 3-2 with another run in the fourth. Brent Dean pulled a triple down the right field line before Marin brought him home with an RBI groundout.

Lincoln evened the contest with another run in the third. Jacobs led off the inning with a single to left for his second hit of the game. Curt Smith followed with a single before Trever Adams plated Jacobs with an RBI single.

Gary regained the lead for the second time in the seventh. Andy De Jesus led off the frame with a pinch-hit double down the left field line. Wilson moved him to third with a bunt single before Cheky Jr. brought home De Jesus with an RBI single.

Down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh, Trever Adams tied the game with an opposite-field solo home run into the right-center bleachers. The homer was Adams’ seventh of the season.

Gary went back in the front for good in the eighth. Santiesteban drew a walk to start the inning before Holland moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Gimenez then hit a routine bouncing ball to second, however, Valera had go off his glove into right field, scoring Santiesteban for the game-winning run.

Jorge De Leon (4-1) recorded the win in game two with his second straight two-inning performance. The former Houston Astros reliever allowed one run on two hits and also struck out a batter.

Fabio Martinez (0-1) yielded an unearned run in the defeat. The right-hander gave up one hit and one walk in two innings.

The RailCats and Saltdogs wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Southpaw Carlos Diaz (0-0, 3.79) opposes Lincoln right-hander Carlos Pimentel (3-0, 1.80) in the rubber game on Sunday afternoon.           

Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Monday, June 19 for the start of a three-game series vs. Sioux City. First pitch against the Explorers is at 7:10 p.m. Monday’s game is another MetroPCS Monday. Visit your nearest Northwest Indiana MetroPCS location for a reserved seat ticket voucher to Monday’s game.           

Jared Shlensky and Austin Anderson bring you all 100 RailCats games this season on WEFM (95.9FM) 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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