Gary, IN- The Gary SouthShore RailCats started off the three game series with the RedHawks with a 5-4 win in a back and forth game.
The RedHawks opened up the scoring in the first inning as Ronnie Borquin singled to lead off the game against RailCats’ starter Dustin Crenshaw. C.J. Retherford knocked him in a few batters later to give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead.
It did not take long for the Cats to get that run back as Craig Maddox led off the bottom of the second with a double to center field. He advanced to third as RedHawks’ starter Jake Laber threw to first on an appeal to see if Maddox missed the base on his way to second. He threw the ball over the head of first baseman Erik Castro, allowing Maddox to move up 90 feet. Wally Backman took advantage of the miscue, driving Maddox in with a base hit to tie the game at 1-1.
Drew Muren led off the bottom of the third with a triple for the Cats, driving one over the head of RedHawks’ center fielder Nic Jackson. Danny Pulfer drove Muren in with a long flyout to right field, giving the Cats a 2-1 advantage.
Things would remain quiet for a while as both starters settled in nicely. In the top of the seventh, Crenshaw gave up a lead-off single to Petey Paramore. Zach Penprase doubled two batters later, forcing Crenshaw out of the game and bringing in reliever Kevin Brahney who got Borquin to pop to Zac Mitchell for the second out of the inning. A wild pitch from Brahney allowed Paramore to score and Sawyer Carrol drove in Penprase with a base hit, giving Fargo-Moorhead a 3-2 lead.
Once again, the Cats came right back as Ryan Babineau led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. With one out, Josh Romanski laced a triple into the gap, scoring Babinaeu and tying the game at 3-3. After an intentional walk to Drew Muren, who then stole second base, Pulfer delivered with a two-out, two-run double to give the Cats a 5-3 lead.
The RedHawks threatened in the top of the eighth, putting runners on first and second against Cats’ reliever Barry Fowler. Fowler was able to escape by striking out Dusty Robinson, holding a 5-3 lead for the Cats.
Fargo-Moorhead tried to make things interesting once again in the ninth. Folwer gave up a lead-off single to Penprase and Greg Tagert went back to the bullpen, bringing Chuck Fontana into the game. Borquin singled off Fontana, moving Penprase to third with nobody out. Fontana then induced a pop out from Carroll for the first out and Nic Jackson followed with a flyout to left, scoring Penprase but at the cost of their second out. Erik Castro grounded out to second to end the game, with Cats holding on for a 5-4 win.
The Cats and RedHawks will square off in game two of the three game series tomorrow night at 7:10.
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