RailCats beat Newark in return to Steel Yard
By Candace Buckner Post-Tribune correspondent June 7, 2012 11:42PM
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:19AM
GRAY — The RailCats returned to the Steel Yard on Thursday evening and although the road had not been kind, they bounced back with a 7-4 win over the Newark Bears.
While Newark’s bullpen did not hold up when the Bears unexpectedly needed relief, the RailCats pitchers stood up in support of starter Derek Drage.
Drage had his best outing of the year — lasting 61/3 innings and allowing three runs — but relievers like Will Krout and Chris Allen showed outstanding support to preserve the win in front of 2,849 fans. Gary improved to 9-11 overall while Drage earned his second win of the season. Mike Coles and Mike Rohde each went 3-for-5 for two RBI.
In the bottom of the first, Newark pitcher Pedro Rivera retired the first two RailCats before Coles stepped to the plate. Coles, who had been the team’s steadiest hitter through its 2-4 road trip with seven hits and five RBI, did not get on base but still wielded a dangerous bat.
Coles made contact, shattering his bat. As Coles sprinted toward first, a piece of his bat struck Rivera in the leg. After the out, Rivera needed several moments to walk off the field and Newark suddenly needed its bullpen. While Rivera’s night was ending, the RailCats’ fortune was just beginning.
Through the successive innings, RailCats scored three runs off relievers Rob Swift and Brian Parker — a bases-loaded infield single by the No. 9 hitter David Cooper in the second, Coles’ stolen base setting up Rohde’s third-inning RBI to break the 1-1 tie and Sean Smith racing home off Parker’s errant throw while fielding a sacrifice bunt in the fourth.
The Gary bullpen fared much better. The RailCats padded their lead with two runs in the eighth and Allen earned his first save of the season.