RailCats win wild one in 10 innings
By Michael Osipoff 713-2485 or email@example.com June 21, 2013 10:58PM
Updated: June 21, 2013 11:14PM
GARY — The RailCats’ 5-4, 10-inning win over St. Paul on Friday night at the Steel Yard was about as improbable and bizarre as it gets.
The RailCats scored three unearned runs with two outs in the ninth on a walk to Brian Kolb, back-to-back hit batters (Drew Martinez and pinch-hitter Ryan Babineau), and pitcher Matt Meyer throwing away Danny Pulfer’s nubber down the right-field line to clear the bases.
They escaped a jam in the 10th when St. Paul (17-17) put runners on the corners with no outs, aided by an unassisted line-drive double play to Kolb.
And the RailCats (18-15) won the game in the bottom of the inning on Mike Massaro’s bunt single, Cristian Guerrero’s bad-hop hit off the lip of the infield and — with two outs — Kolb’s walk-off single to left on a 3-2 slider.
“That just shows the character of our team,” Kolb said. “We battle and scratch it out any way we can. It’s hard to put us away.”
And, oh, by the way, the RailCats’ spot starter, James Adkins — who was taking the turn after seven relief appearances for the team only because Will Krout (shoulder) is on the disabled list — left this game with shoulder fatigue after two scoreless innings. Four relievers combined for eight innings, with only one of the four runs earned, with Clay Zavada getting the win.
Greg Tagert’s 450th win as RailCats manager — he has a 450-364 record since taking over in 2005 — was a memorable one.
“We’ll take it,” he said. “We’ll take it. We benefitted from some of the oddities of the game. But I’ll never say we don’t deserve to win, because of our effort.
“I don’t know if it’ll go down as one of the best RailCats comebacks around, but it was a character win.”
St. Paul designated hitter Brandon Tripp had snapped a 1-1 tie with an opposite-field homer to left to open the seventh. He then delivered a two-out, two-run double in the eighth to seemingly provide the Saints with a cushion, before the RailCats somehow rallied.
“Don’t sleep on us, don’t sleep on us in the ninth,” Adam Klein said.
The Saints wasted an excellent start from Luke Anderson, who allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
The RailCats had taken a 1-0 lead in the second. After the Saints completed an intentional walk to Martinez, Zac Mitchell delivered a two-out single to score Craig Maddox, who had led off with a single.
The Saints tied the score with an unearned run in the third.
Notes: Massaro entered Friday needing three hits to tie former shortstop Jay Pecci for the franchise’s career record at 548. Massaro, in his fifth season with the RailCats after joining them in 2009, also needed two runs to tie Pecci — who played six seasons with the team, from 2005 to ’10 — for the franchise record at 294. … Alain Quijano (4-2, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled to start on Saturday night for the RailCats. The Saints had yet to announce their starter.