05/23/2012 8:30 AM
Intentionally walking the potential game-winning runner to pitch to the league MVP might not seem like a sound strategy, but it worked for Gary SouthShore on Tuesday night as the RailCats held off Kansas City, 3-2, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
In the top of the ninth inning, Gary SouthShore pitcher Will Krout walked Brandon Jones and brought Lee Cruz to the plate with two on and two out. Cruz, last year’s American Association Most Valuable Player, sent one to the right field corner for a long fly out.
“When it left (Cruz’s) bat, I thought it had a chance to at least hook into the corner and get out,” said Kansas City manager Kenny Hook. “Unfortunately, the wind was blowing out to left.”
Kansas City pitcher Josh Rainwater (0-2) started off strong, striking out three batters while allowing just three hits in five innings. In the sixth, though, Kansas City committed back-to-back errors and, later, former T-Bones infielder Rico Washington hit a 2-RBI single. Then, with two outs, Kyle Haines doubled and scored Washington, giving Gary SouthShore a 3-2 lead.
“They stuck to their plan and made Rainwater work hard,” Hook said. “They laid off some tough pitches that could’ve gone either way, but I felt good about leaving him in there. It just didn’t go our way.”
The T-Bones (2-4) will face Gary SouthShore (3-3) for the third and final game of this series and homestand on Wednesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, with first pitch set for 7:05. Nick Singleton (1-0) is scheduled to pitch for the T-Bones against Andrew Johnston (0-0) for the RailCats. Tickets are available by calling the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5618.