Long balls doom RailCats in defeat
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent June 23, 2012 10:48PM
Updated: July 25, 2012 6:57AM
GARY — A pair of solo home runs doomed the RailCats on Saturday night.
Lincoln’s Mike Provencher put his team on the board with a round-tripper in the first inning and Stephen Holdren smacked a devastating solo number with two outs in the top of the ninth as the Saltdogs evened the series with a 3-2 win at the Steel Yard on Saturday night in front of 5,215 in attendance.
Holdren finished 3-for-4 for the Saltdogs (14-20) and scored the game-tying run in the top of the seventh inning when Salomon Manriquez smacked into a 6-4-3 double play.
Starting RailCats pitcher Stephen Hiscock pitched impressively, allowing just two earned runs in seven innings but got the no-decision. The 24-year-old, who made just his fifth professional start against the Saltdogs, was the hard-luck loser in his last outing despite giving up zero earned runs in last Monday’s 3-0 loss against Laredo. His ERA is 2.63.
Gary manager Greg Tagert said his rising star will see days like this.
“It’s going to happen,” said Tagert of Hiscock’s no-decision. “He matched up against Laredo’s No. 1 guy (who struck out 10 and earned no runs) last time out too. We’ve just got to win games and down the road, we see him winning that game, 3-2 or 2-1, and getting the complete game.
“It was a well-played game on both sides; they had a couple home run balls and you can see what something like that does to impact a game.”
The RailCats (15-19) couldn’t answer back with the home run ball but they let small-ball get them back in the game. Gary got on the board in the third inning when David Cooper tripled and scored on Hammond native Mike Coles’ RBI single.
They manufactured another run in the fourth inning when Craig Maddox walked and scored on a bunt single by Cooper with two outs. Lincoln pitcher Ryan Sheldon had a shot at mowing down Maddox at the plate but chose to take the safe out at first base but Cooper beat out the throw.
“We did some nice things and we scratched across a couple runs,” Tagert said. “But we just couldn’t keep any momentum. We can’t seem to string together something to get on the right track.
“I hate to say it this early in the season but we are digging ourselves a hole. We just keep falling a little short of putting it all together. We played well last night (in a 10-7 win) with the offense putting up all those runs but we just aren’t getting production out of some of our guys.”
Gary closer Chris Allen (3-3) took the loss allowing the solo homer by Holdren.