Arena Sportsnet

Wild Card ‘Cats

 

GARY, Ind. — Down to the final game of the regular season, the Gary SouthShore RailCats needed more than just a win to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2013. The RailCats had to defeat the Lincoln Saltdogs and needed Fargo-Moorhead to lose to Winnipeg. Both happened on Monday afternoon after Gary walked-off over Lincoln for the second straight game with a 3-2 win while the RedHawks fell to the reigning champion Winnipeg Goldeyes, 8-3.

 

“This group has earned it as much as any club I’ve ever been part of,” said manager Greg Tagert. “Every guy in there and the guys that have helped us throughout the year should be commended. We’re far from perfect, but they’re a resilient and determined group.”

 

The RailCats (57-43) scored the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on Wilfredo Gimenez’s walk-off single. Frank Martinez hit a one-out triple, the last of his four hits, to set-up Gimenez’s walk-off hit. Gimenez’s walk-off single also snapped his 0-for-22 hitless streak.

 

Lincoln (58-41) took the opening lead for the third time of the series with a run in the first. Christian Ibarra pulled a single into left for the first hit of the game before Curt Smith reached on an opposite-field single to right, giving the Saltdogs runners on the corners. Randolph Oduber followed with the third consecutive hit, an RBI single to right, bringing home Ibarra from third.

 

Gary tied the game up with a two-out run in the third. Kris Goodman reached on an infield single to begin the frame before stealing second. Three batters later, Andy De Jesus dropped an RBI single into shallow left-center, scoring Goodman from second.

 

The Saltdogs regained the lead in the top of the sixth. All-Star Cesar Valera led off the inning with a triple off the top of the left-center field wall before Brant Dean brought him in with a sacrifice fly to right.

 

In the bottom of the seventh, the RailCats tied the ballgame via a two-out rally.  Reggie Wilson and Colin Willis drew back-to-back walks before Martinez hit an RBI double into the right field corner to even the game at 2-2.

 

Daniel Minor (3-1) retired all seven batters he faced, three via the strikeout, in 2.2 scoreless innings of relief in the win. Parker Frazier (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing the game-winning run to score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

 

The Gary SouthShore RailCats open the American Association Semifinals at home against the Wichita Wingnuts on Wednesday, September 6th, at 7:10 p.m. Neither teams have announced their game one starter for the best of five series.

 

Postseason tickets are available to purchase now online at railcatsbaseball.com. Box seat tickets cost $11, reserved seats cost $10 and terrace seats are just $6 for the first two games of the American Association Semifinals. Jared Shlensky and Austin Anderson bring you all 100 RailCats games this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at railcatsbaseball.com. Fans can purchase tickets for RailCats home games by calling (219) 882-BALL or online at railcatsbaseball.com. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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