Arena Sportsnet

RailCats Sweep Friday DH

CLEBURNE, Texas — The Gary SouthShore RailCats started their six-day, seven-game road trip in Texas with a bang after sweeping the Cleburne Railroaders in Friday’s doubleheader. Gary claimed game one 7-3 before taking down Cleburne in game two, 9-3. The ‘Cats never trailed, had every starter reach base at least once for the third and fourth consecutive times and are now a season-best nine games above .500.

Gary (36-27) took the opening lead in the first game in franchise history between the two teams at The Depot at Cleburne Station with a pair of runs in the first. Randy Santiesteban recorded the first RailCat RBI at The Depot with an RBI double down the left field line before Collin Willis doubled the Gary lead with an RBI single to center.

The ‘Cats jumped in front by three with another run in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly from D.K. Carey, however, Cleburne, countered with their first run of the series in the bottom half of the frame on Jake Simpson’s two-out RBI single. Andy De Jesus put Gary back in front by three with his first home run of the season down the right field line in the fourth.

Gary added their final three runs in the top of the sixth, increasing their lead to 7-1. Cole Fabio drove in two of the first three runs of the inning with a two-run single to center before Carey brought home the ‘RailCats final run in game one with a two-out RBI single.

Cleburne (20-45) trimmed the Gary lead to 7-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Levi Scott brought in Chase Simpson with a sacrifice fly for the first run in the frame before Patrick Palmeiro delivered the final run in game one with a two-out RBI single to center.

Jeff McKenzie (4-6) recorded his second consecutive win and first victory as a starter since June 8th after allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits, no walks and four strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Adam Quintana secured the win with the final four outs in a non-save situation. Ronnie Gomez (0-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits, no walks and six strikeouts in five innings.

Gary scored first for the 10th consecutive game with two runs in the second to go up by a pair in game two. Will Savage gave the ‘Cats an early 1-0 advantage with a sacrifice fly to right before Alex Crosby made it 2-0 with a two-out RBI single to center.

The RailCats added two more runs in the third to go up four on back-to-back RBI doubles from Tillman Pugh and Wilfredo Gimenez. Gary took a 7-0 with three more runs in the fourth. Will drove in the first run of the frame with an RBI single to left before back-to-back RBI singles Pugh and Reggie Wilson.

Cleburne avoided being shutout in game two with three runs in the fifth. Angel Rosa got the Railroaders on the board with an RBI single before Trevor Sealey made it 7-3 with an RBI single to center, however, a RailCats fielding error allowed Rosa to score from first for the final run of the inning.

Gary added another run in the sixth on Gimenez’s RBI single to left before scoring the final run of the doubleheader on Carey’s sacrifice fly in the seventh. Myles Smith (3-1) recorded the win in game two after retiring six of the seven batters he faced, two via strikeouts, over two scoreless innings of relief. Michael Gunn (2-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs on seven hits, five walks and struck out two in 3.1 innings.

Gary continues their six-day, seven-game road trip in Texas against the Cleburne Railroaders on Saturday at 7:06 p.m. RailCats’ LHP Lars Liguori (1-6, 3.70) opposes Railroaders’ RHP Jared Mortensen (3-4, 3.12) in his team-high 13th start.

Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday, August 3rd for a six-game homestand. Friday’s game vs. the Wichita Wingnuts is Scout Night, Faith and Family Night and a Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday.

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