LIVE: RailCats blog vs Sioux City, keep the streak alive

2014-06-09T17:00:00Z 2014-06-09T22:04:52Z LIVE: RailCats blog vs Sioux City, keep the streak aliveBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | Nursing a seven-game winning streak, the RailCats face a Sioux City Explorers team that has lost eight in a row (including four to the 'Cats).

In addition, the Explorers are losing players as quickly as games. The Xs are down to just three infielders after Sunday's retirement of third baseman Mark Sobolewski. Sioux City has just 20 players on the roster, scrambling to fill in the two openings while in the midst of a six-game road trip.

Earlier Monday, RailCats pitcher Dustin Crenshaw was named the American Association's Pitcher of the Week.

Crenshaw made two starts last week, a seven-inning complete-game win over Sioux City and a seven-inning one-run win over Sioux Falls. The righty has allowed three earned runs in his last four starts and has 19 strikeouts with five walks all season.

Tonight's lineup:

Sioux City Explorers (6-19)

LF OScar Mesa

CF Michael Lang

1B Rene Tosoni

SS Nate Samson (on roster as OF)

3B Tommy Mendonca

2B Andres Perez

RF Peter Barrows

DH Dillon Usiak

C Todd Jennings

RHP Greg Holt (0-4, 5.65 ERA)

RailCats (14-8)

SS Danny Pulfer

RF Drew Martinez

LF Josh Romanski

C Ryan Babineau

DH Craig Maddox

3B Wally Backman

1B Jeremy Hamilton

2B Zac Mitchell

CF Cody Bishop

RHP Stephen Hiscock (2-1, 2.29 ERA)

First inning

Oscar Mesa grounds out to short. Michael Lang strikes out swinging, that's the first K for Hiscock, who leads the RailCats with 26 in five starts coming into tonight. Rene Tosoni flies out to center field. Mid 1st inning: Explorers 0, RailCats 0

Danny Pulfer hits to the second baseman, the ball is bobbled on the catch by Rene Tosoni, who is playing out of position. Pulfer reaches on the E3. Drew Martinez singles up the middle. Josh Romanski strikes out looking. Ryan Babineau flies out to right field, Pulfer at second hadn't tagged so runners remain on first and second. Craig Maddox is hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wally Backman strikes out swinging, the second K for Greg Holt. End 1st inning: RailCats 0, Explorers 0.

Second inning

Nate Samson singles past a diving Wally Backman at third. Tommy Mendonca lays down a bunt single that Backman follows to see if it'll roll foul and it doesn't. Andres Perez lays down a sac bunt to first for the first out. Both runners are in scoring position. Peter Barrows singles between third and short to score Samson. Dillon Usiak hits a sac bunt single to first, the ball is bobbled by Jeremy Hamilton and Usiak reaches on the error while Mendonca scores. Todd Jennings grounds out to first. Bases are loaded with Explorers as Oscar Mesa is walked. Michael Lang pops out foul to Hamilton at first. Mid 2nd inning: Explorers 2, RailCats 0

Jeremy Hamilton strikes out looking. Zac Mitchell strikes out swinging. Cody Bishop is walked on a nine pitch at-bat. Danny Pulfer grounds to second where Bishop is taken out. End 2nd inning: Explorers 2, RailCats 0

Third inning

Rene Tosoni flies out to left. Nate Samson grounds out to third. Tommy Mendonca strikes out swinging. Mid 3rd inning: Explorers 2, RailCats 0

Drew Martinez hits his first homer of the year, the seventh for the RailCats. Josh Romanski flies out to right. Ryan Babineau is walked on a 3-2 count. Craig Maddox doubles off the wall in right-center, a ball that right fielder Peter Barrows thought was a homer, scoring Babineau. Greg Tagert comes out to chat with the umps about the possibility of the hit being a homer that ricocheted off of something, but it didn't look to have bounced before hitting the ground. The double stays. Wally Backman Jr. grounds to first, moving Maddox to third. Jeremy Hamilton singles up the middle to score Maddox. Zac Mitchell pops out foul to right field. End 3rd inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 2

Fourth inning

Andres Perez grounds out to short. Peter Barrows doubles with a ball that hits Backman at third base on the dive and trickles into left field. A double to right-center by Dillon Usiak scores Barrows. Todd Jennings flies out to center. Oscar Mesa grounds out to second. Mid 4th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Cody Bishop strikes out, the fifth by Greg Holt. Danny Pulfer lines out to first. Drew Martinez pops out foul to first base. End 4th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Fifth inning

Michael Lang reaches on a single. Rene Tosoni lines out to third, Wally Backman Jr. quickly throws to first to take out Lang on the double play, but overthrows the base giving Lang second on the error. Nate Samson flies out to center. Tommy Mendonca flies out to left field. Mid 5th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Josh Romanski flies out to center. Ryan Babineau is walked for the second time today. Craig Maddox flies out to center, a ball that was an adventure to catch for center fielder Michael Lang, who appears to have lost it in the lights. On a pitch to Wally Backman Jr., Babineau steals second. Backman is the sixth strikeout by Holt. End 5th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Sixth inning

Andres Perez flies out to right field. Peter Barrows strikes out looking. Dillon Usiak grounds out to first. Mid 6th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Jeremy Hamilton pops out foul to third base. Zac Mitchell grounds out to short. Cody Bishop grounds out to short. End 6th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Seventh inning

Todd Jennings grounds out to third. Oscar Mesa doubles to the wall in left center. Michael Lang singles up the middle, Danny Pulfer stops the ball to hold Mesa at third. Rene Tosoni pops out foul behind the plate. Nate Samson grounds out to second, taking Lang out on the basepath. Mid 7th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Danny Pulfer flies out to left field. Drew Martinez grounds out to first. Josh Romanski singles into shallow right. Ryan Babineau takes his second swing of the night and singles into right field. There's a meeting on the mound with Greg Holt, but Holt remains in the game at 131 pitches against the RailCats. Craig Maddox strikes out swinging. End 7th inning: RailCats 3, Explorers 3

Eighth inning

Stephen Hiscock returns for the eighth with Kevin Brahney and Ethan Gibbons throwing in the pen. Tom Mendonca reaches on an error by Danny Pulfer at short. Andres Perez singles into left field to put two on. That'll bring a meeting on the mound. Ethan Gibbons will replace Hiscock, who went 7+ innings with nine hits a walk and three strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches. Andres Perez hits a sac bunt back to the mound. That's the only batter Gibbons will throw to, bringing in Kevin Brahney. Dillion Usiak is walked to load the bases. Todd Jennings doubles with a hit that hugs the right-field line, scoring Mendonca and Perez. A single by Oscar Mesa scores Usiak and Jennings. Michael Lang strikes out swinging, Mesa steals second on the swing. Rene Tosoni grounds back to the mound. Mid 8th inning: Explorers 7, RailCats 3

Kenny Long will come in to relieve Greg Holt, who threw 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 7 SO. Wally Backman Jr. is hit by a pitch. Jeremy Hamilton pops out foul to third base. Zac Mitchell grounds into a double play. End 8th inning: Explorers 7, RailCats 3

Ninth inning

Nate Samson singles into center field. Samson takes second on a wild pitch to Tommy Mendonca. Mendonca grounds back to the mount, giving Samson third base. Andres Perez hits to third, Mendonca is caught in a rundown and Perez is on first. Peter Barrows strikes out looking to leave Perez on base. Mid 9th inning: Explorers 7, RailCats 3

Cody Bishop strikes out swinging. Danny Pulfer hits a ball that is chased into shallow right field by three fielders and eventually caught by right fielder Peter Barrows. Drew Martinez is hit by a pitch. Martinez takes second on defensive indifference. Josh Romanski is walked on four pitches. That brings a meeting on the mound. Ryan Babineau flies out to center. Final score: Explorers 7, RailCats 3

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Hillary Smith

Hillary Smith

Hillary Smith has covered prep, pro and college sports -- and even a Dixie Baseball World Series -- for newspapers north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1995.



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