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Defending Champs Take Series Opener, 7-6

09/09/2008 9:45 PM -

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Gary SouthShore RailCats jumped on the back of Christian Guerrero tonight, using two home runs from the right fielder as they took game one of the Northern League Championship Series from the Kansas City T-Bones, 7-6, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Kansas City got on the board first when a three-run home run from Jim Fasano (pictured) against Jeremy Plexico gave them a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning.  Gary responded in the second off Anthony Boughner with a two-run double from Eric McNamee to pull within one.

After a solo home run by Neb Brown pushed the T-Bones lead to two in the bottom of the second, the RailCats opened up for four runs on three hits and an error to gain a 6-4 advantage.  Guerrero drove in the first three runs in the inning with his first home run of the contest.

Guerrero plated the RailCats final run of the game in the fifth with a solo shot, his second of the game.  He finished the contest three-for-four with a double, two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored to pace Gary.

Plexico struck out the first batter he faced in the bottom of the fifth before surrendering three straight hits, including back-to-back RBI doubles to Aharon Eggleston and Rob Watson as Kansas City pulled within one, 7-6.  He then allowed a leadoff single to begin the sixth before giving way to Brian Halford.

Plexico picked up the win after surrendering six runs on nine hits over five-plus innings of work.  Boughner left after six and one-thirds innings, allowing seven runs, six earned, on eight hits in the loss.

Gary’s bullpen shut down the T-Bones after Plexico’s departure, allowing just one baserunner over the final four innings.  The lone blemish came when Koichi Misawa walked Fasano to begin the ninth before he got the next three batters to earn his third save of the postseason.

Brady Martinez and Todd Moser combined to finish the game for Kansas City, allowing just one hit a piece over the final two and two-thirds innings.

Kansas City looks to even the series tomorrow night in game two of a best-of-five series.  The T-Bones send rookie hurler Chris Rhoads to battle former Royal Tony Cogan for Gary in the final game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in 2008.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.