Baseball: Railcats fall 4-2 to Lincoln Saltdogs
GARY — There were a few other scoring chances Friday nigh for the RailCats, but none better than the one they had in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Trailing 2-1 to the Lincoln Saltdogs, the RailCats’ Drew Martinez drew a leadoff walk to start the rally. After Zac Mitchell singled and cleanup hitter Ryan Babineau also walked, the RailCats had the bases loaded with no outs against Lincoln starter Zachary Varce.
In just a few pitches, though, that scoring chance vanished, just as the others did in a 4-2 RailCats’ loss.
Craig Maddox popped out to short for the first out. Then, Wally Backman hit a soft grounder up the middle that took Lincoln shortstop Mike Gilmartin right to second base for an easy 6-3 double play that ended the inning with no runs scoring for the RailCats (19-14).
To make matters worse, the Saltdogs extended their lead in the next inning when Tyler Smith singled to drive in Chris Anderson, who’d doubled.
That run signaled the end of the day for RailCats starting pitcher Stephen Hiscock, who saw his record drop to 2-3. Hiscock didn’t surrender a hit until the fourth, but he yielded a pair of runs in the fifth after a back-to-back Lincoln. In his 62/3 innings, Hiscock was tagged for three runs on seven hits and two walks to go with his eight strikeouts.
The RailCats’ first run of the game came in the second when Backman reached on an error, moved to third on Josh Romanski’s single and then came around to score on another Lincoln error.
Romanski added the RailCats’ second run of the game in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run to right field.
Another scoring opportunity arrived later that inning, with runners at the corners with two out for Mitchell. He made solid contact on a grounder back up the middle, but Lincoln reliever Jhonny Montoya reached back with his bare hand, knocked the ball down and then fired to first in time to get Mitchell and escape the jam.
That was the final scoring threat of the game for the RailCats, who returned to the US Steel Yard after posting a 4-2 record on a six-game road trip that gave the team a 31/2-game cushion over the Kansas City T-Bones entering Friday’s contest.