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Gary Takes Series with Eighth-Inning Rally

07/16/2009 10:40 PM -

Gary scored two runs on two hits in the bottom of the eighth inning as the RailCats (30-24) pushed past the Kansas City T-Bones (25-28), 6-5, at U.S. Steel Yard tonight to finish off a series victory in their four-game set.

Luis Villarreal retired the first eight batters he faced for Kansas City before walking Rob Marconi in the bottom of the third.  Following the free pass, the skies opened up and forced a 70-minute rain delay with the game scoreless.  Both starters remained in the contest after the interruption.  When the weather cleared, Marconi stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Villarreal retired Mike Massaro on a lineout to left.

The T-Bones took a 1-0 lead against Tom Thornton in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Jim Fasano.  Gary responded quickly, tying the contest on an RBI double by Steve Haake.  A two-run double by Greg Jacobs, his second double in as many at bats in the contest, put Kansas City ahead 3-1 in the top of the fifth.

The RailCats continued to battle in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three times on three hits to gain a 4-3 advantage.  Massaro drove in the first run with a single and scored along with Marconi on a basehit by Eric McNamee.  Jay Pecci grounded out to end the frame and Villarreal’s night.

The T-Bones left-hander allowed four runs on five hits over his five innings of work.  Thornton surrendered a two-run home run to Jacob Blackwood in the top of the sixth to hand the lead back to Kansas City, 5-4.  Thornton was charged with all five T-Bones runs on seven hits over six innings of work.  Neither starter factored into the decision.

Justin James relieved Villarreal and threw a scoreless sixth before walking the leadoff batter in the seventh.  He left in favor of Payton Tweddale after a fielder’s choice groundout put the tying run at first with one out.  Tweddale induced a double play from Massaro to end the threat.

After two scoreless innings from reliever Grant Johnson (3-6), the Gary offense took the final lead of the contest with a two-run eighth inning against Daniel Sattler (1-3).  Haake singled home the tying run with one out and later scored the decisive run on a two-out single by Cristian Guerrero.

Sattler was charged with two runs on two hits in the loss.  Johnson allowed just one baserunner, a walk to Jacobs in the seventh, while striking out three in the victory.  Andy Shipman threw a perfect ninth to secure his eighth save of the season.  Blackwood’s home run in the sixth was his first as a T-Bone.

Kansas City heads home for a weekend series against the Joliet JackHammers beginning tomorrow night.  Cody McAllister (4-1, 4.80) is scheduled to take the mound for the T-Bones versus Derek Barrows (1-0, 3.86) and Joliet.  This weekend is Redneck Weekend at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, with Mullet Night kicking things off tomorrow.  For Friday night only, all small domestic draft beers are just $3.  Tickets are still available for this weekend and the rest of the regular season and start at just $6.  Call 913-328-5618 or visit www.tbonesbaseball.com for more information.