Offseason regimen helps RailCats’ Will Krout go late into game
By Michael Osipoff 713-2485 or firstname.lastname@example.org May 9, 2013 11:16PM
Updated: June 11, 2013 4:35PM
GARY — Regardless of circumstances, Will Krout typically enters a season fully prepared, training in January and not waiting until March or April.
But he had even extra motivation this offseason, heading into a season as a starting pitcher for the first time in his career and with a change in his relationship status.
Krout put in double sessions in the weight room and logged serious mileage. By the time the RailCats opened camp late last week, he had dropped 20 pounds, down to 215.
“I cut out all the crap in my diet and really worked,” Krout said. “Things sort of clicked for me working out.”
It should come as no surprise, then, that Krout was able to pitch into the fifth inning of his first outing of the spring, as the RailCats rallied for a 9-6 exhibition win over Evansville on Thursday at the Steel Yard. In 42/3 innings, the right-hander allowed three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks; save for Taylor Black’s solo homer in the third, he generally was cruising until giving up a single, triple and double with two outs in the fifth.
“It actually felt good to extend a little bit,” said Krout, who threw 61 pitches.
Since beginning his pro career in 2006, Krout had made one start — in 2007, a spot start in the second game of a doubleheader — until moving from the RailCats bullpen to their rotation about a month into last season.
Manager Greg Tagert has talked about “accelerating” the process for pitchers this season, and expressed confidence that Krout and Alain Quijano would be the most equipped among the potential starters.
“There was never a doubt he (Krout) was going to be ready,” Tagert said. “He probably could’ve pitched five innings on Day 1 on May 4.”
The RailCats beat the Otters to improve to 3-0 in the preseason, putting up eight runs in the final three innings, including four in the ninth.
Trailing 6-5 in that last inning, Zac Mitchell led off with a triple, and Drew Martinez drove in the tying run with a double. After Martinez — who has gone 5-for-9 with two walks, four RBI, two runs and three stolen bases in the three exhibitions — stole third, Aljay Davis delivered the “winning” sacrifice fly. The game continued, with Ryan Babineau adding a two-run single, before it was called with two outs.
“It’s been like a game situation in the dugout, more than I’ve been accustomed to the last few years,” Tagert said. “They’re very aware of the situation, trying to win a ballgame in the eighth or ninth inning.”
The RailCats had tied the score at 4-4 with three runs in the seventh, on Brian Kolb’s two-run single and a wild pitch, taking advantage of four Evansville walks in the inning. They also scored a run in the eighth to take a 5-4 lead.
In 21/3 innings, Kyle Lindquist allowed one run on one hit — John Nester’s one-out homer in the seventh — with one strikeout. And in two innings, Marco Gonzalez allowed two runs on one hit — Ryan Kresky’s two-run homer that gave Evansville a 6-5 lead with one out in the ninth — with two strikeouts.
Notes: The RailCats will play an exhibition at 1:10 p.m. on Friday against the “Local Stars,” a team that consists of players from a Michigan City-based team and players invited back from their open tryout, including Clark graduate Michael Carpen, former major league left-hander Clay Zavada, Purdue North Central outfielder Spencer Anderson and right-hander Nathan Stewart. Quijano was scheduled to start for the RailCats, possibly going as deep as six innings. … Japanese pitcher Takahiro Matsuka was expected to arrive at O’Hare on Friday morning, head to the stadium, and travel with the team to Saint Paul on Saturday. … Outfielder Chris Colton tweaked a hamstring in Wednesday’s exhibition, and could return either on Saturday or Sunday at the Saints.