T-Bones 7, RailCats 6: Wild pitch in 11th inning leads to third straight loss
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2012 11:12PM
Gary's Kyle Haines connects on a two run double in the third inning against Kansas City at the Steel Yard in Gary Monday evening. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 25, 2012 11:15PM
GARY — Yep, that’s about how this season has gone so far for the RailCats.
Nolan Nicholson uncorked a wild pitch with two outs in the 11th inning for what proved to be the winning run, as Kansas City came away with a 7-6 decision on Monday night at the Steel Yard.
The RailCats (15-21), who squandered a 6-0 lead, lost their third straight game. It was their longest game of the season, and second extra-innings game.
“I guess you better be careful when you say you hit rock bottom, because that’s a new one there tonight,” RailCats manager Greg Tagert said. “Losing a 6-0 lead, it’s tough to say we lost it in the 11th inning.
“It really typified the first 30-plus games of the season. It’s as tough a situation to watch as I’ve seen here.”
The RailCats tried to rally in their half of the 11th. Adam Klein drew a lead-off walk, but was caught stealing. Mike Coles and Craig Maddox each had a two-out single, before former T-Bones player Sean Henry grounded out to end the game.
The teams combined for five errors and six unearned runs, with the T-Bones (20-17) committing three and surrendering four in those respective categories.
The RailCats had led 6-0, scoring those four unearned runs, before the T-Bones came back to tie the score — the last two runs were unearned in the sixth.
The RailCats had scored an unearned run in the first, taking advantage of a two-out error — actually, there were two errors on the play — when Henry dropped a single to right. To end the inning, center fielder Gus Milner threw out Maddox at the plate on Kyle Haines’ single.
The RailCats capitalized on another T-Bones error in the third, opening the floodgates for a five-run inning, with three of the runs unearned. They scored all of those runs after shortstop Jose Duran booted what had been a tailor-made inning-ending double-play ball. Highlighting the rally, Henry had another run-scoring single and Haines had a two-run double, as the RailCats sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.
The T-Bones tied the score with two unearned runs in the sixth. After third baseman Brian Kolb’s fielding error with two outs, Brandon Jones had a two-run single.
RailCats starter Kyle Wilson allowed six runs (four earned) on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“You need your starting pitcher to win that game, whether he goes nine or eight or seven innings,” Tagert said. “You staked him to a 6-0 lead. He’s got to win that game.”
On Tuesday, usual relief pitcher Will Krout will make his second start of the season for the RailCats, while Kansas City was expected to counter with Devin Anderson.
“I’m not pushing the panic button, but I’m pushing the concern button,” Tagert had said before the game.
“You don’t want to make any rash decisions or judgments after one game, but you have to look at where we’re at at this time of the year. It’s not only the record — we’ve had clubs with records like this before — but it’s also the feel of the ballclub, the direction we’re going and the consistency. We’re just not nearly where we need to be.”