09/03/2006 5:55 PM - GARY, Ind. The Kansas City T-Bones (45-51, 23-25) dropped their fifth straight game to close out the 2006 season, falling to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (50-46, 26-22) by a score of 4-3 Sunday afternoon at U.S. Steel Yard.
The T-Bones jumped on top in the second when J.D. Foust singled off Gary right-hander Willie Glen, then stole second and came home on a Darryl Lawhorn RBI-single- the first of his three hits on the afternoon.
Gary countered with a run in the bottom of the third inning against T-Bones hurler Hank Woodman to make it a 1-1 ballgame. Eric McNamee walked to lead off the frame, then came around on Steve Haakes triple into the right-center field gap.
Both starting pitchers found their comfort zones from that point, cruising through the middle innings before Gary put a run on the board in the seventh. With the score knotted at one run apiece, Mike Coles reached base via a bunt single down the third base line, then came around to score on McNamees RBI-single to right to give the RailCats a 2-1 advantage after seven innings of play.
But Greg Jacobs homer to right with a man aboard put KC on top by a 3-2 count in the top of the eighth, and it looked as though the T-Bones might finish the season on a high note.
Garys Alex Taylor quickly extinguished those plans when he led off the bottom of the eighth with a home run to even the score and end Woodmans afternoon. Andy Rohleder then coaxed a walk from reliever Jaime Jones, swiped second base and advanced to third when McNamee drew a base-on-balls to load the bags. Tanner Townsend then forced home Rohleder with what would prove to be the game-winning run when he was hit by a James Morrison pitch.
Glen came through with a clutch effort for the RailCats, fanning 10 batters and allowing just two runs on four hits in his 7 1/3 innings of work. Woodman also turned in a solid performance for Kansas City, giving up just three runs on eight hits while striking out six RailCats in seven-plus innings.
Kris Regas (5-2) picked up the victory for Gary, while Pete Sikaras closed out the win to earn his third save of the series and his eighth overall. Jones (0-2) was tagged with the loss for the T-Bones.
Garys victory leaves Joliet with a must-win game this evening at home versus Schaumburg to wrap up the East Divisions second-half crown. Should the JackHammers fall tonight, they would be forced to meet the RailCats in a one-game playoff Monday at U.S. Steel Yard.
With the loss, the T-Bones concluded the 2006 season with a 45-51 record, including a second-half mark of 23-25.