GARY, IN (August 19, 2014) – All the goodwill the St. Paul Saints built up from snapping their nine game losing streak on Monday was nowhere to be found on Tuesday evening as they lost 4-2 to the Gary SouthShore Railcats at U.S. Steel Yard.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Devin Thaut led off with a double and scored on an RBI double by Willie Cabrera.
The Railcats tied it in the bottom of the second as Drew Muren led off with a walk and scored on a double from Craig Maddox.
In the fourth the Saints took a 2-1 lead courtesy of a throwing error by Railcats shortstop Danny Pulfer. With two outs Joe Bonfe singled and moved to second on a single from Joey Becker. Vinny DiFazio collected his first hit as a Saint when he hit a grounder into the hole at short that Pulfer backhanded, thought about throwing to second, but instead threw to first and skipped the throw past Wally Backman Jr. allowing Bonfe to score.
The good fortune lasted until the sixth when the Railcats took the lead for good. Saints starter Nick Barnese retired 12 in a row from the second until the fifth, but in the sixth Pulfer led off with a single. Drew Martinez doubled him home tying the game at two. Zac Mitchell’s sacrifice bunt moved Martinez to third and an RBI single by Ryan Babineau gave the Railcats a 3-2 lead.
In the seventh the Railcats added to their lead on a bizarre play. With one out Jose Garcia singled and he advanced to second on a single from Backman Jr. With Pulfer at the plate Barnese delivered a pitch out of the strike zone. Catcher DiFazio’s throw to first to get Backman Jr. was in the dirt and was knocked down by Keith Brachold. That allowed Garcia to head to third and Brachold’s throw to third was over the head of third baseman Henry Wrigley allowing Garcia to score and Backman Jr. to take second. As the ball was thrown back to Barnese and he was walking back to the mound Backman Jr. took off for third, but he got tangled up with the umpire, fell to the ground and Barnese turned around and threw to Wrigley who tagged out Backman Jr. Barnese went 7.0 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out seven.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Wednesday evening at 7:10 p.m. at U.S. Steel Yard. The Saints send RHP Drew Gay (5-1, 3.15) to the mound against Railcats RHP Stephen Bougher (7-5, 4.49).