09/06/2009 4:50 PM -
Tony Cogan gave the Gary SouthShore RailCats (3-2) yet another stellar outing this afternoon, holding the Kansas City T-Bones (2-3) to just two runs on six hits over eight innings as Gary took the decisive game five of the 2009 Northern League Semifinals, 5-2, to earn their fifth straight berth in the Northern League Championship Series.
Dustin Bolton started the game opposite Cogan and struggled early, surrendering singles to the first two batters he faced. After two quick flyouts, Cristian Guerrero doubled home both runners for a 2-0 RailCats lead.
Following a scoreless second, Steve Haake singled with one out and scored from first on a hit-and-run single by Guerrero. Guerrero advanced to second and the throw and later moved to third on a passed ball by Ryan Fox. When Brett Wallace reached on an error by Jeff Helps with two out, Guerrero scored the fourth Gary run of the contest.
Bolton left after throwing 76 pitches in three innings, surrendering four runs, three earned, on six hits in the loss.
Cogan retired the first seven men he faced before Helps reached on an infield single in the third. The left-hander allowed just four baserunners in his first seven innings, all on singles. He retired the side in order four times in that span, including seven straight on two occasions.
Kansas City broke through against Cogan in the eighth, beginning when Helps was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Cogan got the next two hitters before surrendering a two-run home run to Greg Jacobs to pull the T-Bones within two, 4-2.
Chris Rhoads threw three scoreless innings in relief of Bolton before giving way to Brady Martinez in the seventh. After a scoreless frame, Martinez walked Rob Marconi to start the eighth. Mike Massaro then sacrificed Marconi to second against Payton Tweddale, who surrendered a single ahead of a sacrifice fly by Jay Pecci that capped the score at 5-2.
Relief Pitcher of the Year, Andy Shipman, earned his third save of the postseason with a perfect ninth to eliminate Kansas City from the playoffs. Gary now waits for the winner of tonight’s game between the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The 2009 Northern League Championship Series starts on Tuesday.