RAILCATS

LIVE: RailCats vs Canaries, home from winning road-trip

2014-06-06T17:00:00Z 2014-06-06T22:28:03Z LIVE: RailCats vs Canaries, home from winning road-tripBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | The RailCats return home having won four games in a row and five of their last seven. The winning streak is the longest of the season for the 'Cats.

The RailCats played the Canaries on their season-opening road trip, winning both teams in Sioux Falls.

Against the Siouxs this season (Falls and City -- also the next two home opponents) the RailCats are undefeated.

Thanks to the four-game winning streak, the RailCats lead the Central Division by 2 1/2 games over the Kansas City T-Bones and -- at 12-8 -- are two games back of overall American Association leader Wichita (15-7).

"I thought of all the games, (Thursday) was certainly the most impressive win, just because of withstanding the little challenge that a club is going to make at you in a game you could have easily lost," manager Greg Tagert said before Friday's game. "We left the bases loaded a couple times, we hadn't made an error all season, we made three in that game, a couple breaks finally fell Sioux City's way and you're thinking in the dugout, 'we'll take 3-1 on this road trip.' But we pulled it out with a pretty gutty effort, and that was something I was pretty impressed with the club about."

Tonight's lineup:

Sioux Falls Canaries (6-14)

CF Drew Muren

3B Carlos Mendez

LF Brandon Jones

2B Shelby Ford

RF Chris Valencia

1B AJ Kirby-Jones

DH Chris Duffy

SS Stephen Branca

C Kevin Dultz

LHP Matt Wickswat (0-1)

RailCats (12-8)

SS Danny Pulfer

DH Drew Martinez

2B Zac Mitchell

C Ryan Babineau

LF Josh Romanski

3B Wally Backman

1B Jeremy Hamilton

CF Justin Gominsky

RF Adam Taylor

RHP Coleman Stephens (1-1)

First inning

Drew Muren is walked on a full count. A sac bunt by Carlos Mendez puts Muren on second base. Brandon Jones and Shelby Ford fly out to the outfield. MID 1st INNING: Canaries 0, RailCats 0

Danny Pulfer strikes out and is thrown out at first on the dropped third strike. Drew Martiez grounds out to short, as does Zac Mitchell. END 1st INNING: RailCats 0, Canaries 0

Second inning

Zac Mitchell bobbles the ball at second, putting Chris Valencia on with the error. AJ Kirby-Jones flies out to right field. Chris Duffy flies out to center. As does Stephen Branca. MID 2nd INNING: RailCats 0, Canaries 0

Ryan Babineau reaches on a walk. He takes second on a wild pitch to Josh Romanski. Romanski follows with a standup double to right field, scoring Babineau. Wally Backman is walked. Jeremy Hamilton pops out to short. Justin Gominsky strikes out looking. Adam Taylor also strikes out looking. END 2nd INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 0

Third inning

Kevin Dultz grounds out to short. Drew Muren grounds out to second. Carlos Mendez grounds out to short. Coleman Stephens has thrown 32 pitches through 3 innings. MID 3rd INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 0

Danny Pulfer is walked. Drew Martinez breaks a bat on a lineout to short. Zac Mitchell grounds to second, where Pulfer is out. Mitchell is safe at first. Ryan Babineau breaks a bat on a foul ball, then is walked. Josh Romanski strikes out swinging on a dropped third strike; he's out at first. END 3rd INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 0

Fourth inning

Coleman Stephens' no hitter is broken up with a bloop single by Brandon Jones to very shallow left, he's out at second trying to turn it into a double. Shelby Ford and Chris Valencia fly out to center. MID 4th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 0

Wally Backman singles to put the leadoff runner on. Jeremy Hamilton flies out to right field. Backman steals second. Justin Gominsky and Adam Taylor fly out to center. END 4th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 0

Fifth inning

AJ Kirby-Jones is walked. Chris Duffy singles to move Kirby-Jones to third. Stephen Branca hits a sac fly that scores Kirby-Jones, but the RailCats think he left the bag early and Greg Tagert has a convo with home plate ump. Duffy is caught off the bag at first base. Kevin Dultz hits an infield single that is caught and thrown by Wally Backman Jr. at third. That's it for Coleman Stephens, who has thrown 60 pitches. He's replaced by Ethan Gibbons. A single by Drew Muren puts Dultz on third. Carlos Mendez grounds out to third. MID 5th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 1

Danny Pulfer strikes out looking, he clearly thought the last pitch was not a strike. Drew Martinez is walked. Zac Mitchell flies out to left field. Ryan Babineau is walked for the third time tonight (RailCats record for a game is four times). Josh Romanski pops out to short. END 5th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 1

Sixth inning

Brandon Jones hits a looong fly ball to center field, caught on the run by Justin Gominsky. Shelby Ford flies out to left. Chris Valencia singles into center. Vcalencia takes second on a wild pitch to AJ Kirby-Jones. Kirby-Jones then strikes out swinging. MID 6th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 1

That's it for Matt Wickswat after 104 pitches and six walks with five strikeouts. He's replaced by righty Erick Gonzalez. Wally Backman Jr. grounds out to short. Jeremy Hamilton hits to shallow center, where Drew Muren makes a diving/sliding catch. Justin Gominsky strikes out looking. END 6th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 1

Seventh inning

Kevin Brahney replaces Gibbons to open the seventh. Chris Duffy grounds out to short. Stephen Branca strikes out looking. Kevin Dultz flies out to right field. MID 7th INNING: RailCats 1, Canaries 1

Adam Taylor is walked. Danny Pulfer doubles down the right-field line. Taylor scores on a single into left field by Drew Martinez. On a wild pitch to Zac Mitchell, Drew Martinez takes second. Zac Mitchell lines out to first. Ryan Babineau is intentionally walked and he ties a RailCats record for walks in a game. On a wild pitch to Josh Romanski, Pulfer scores. Now Romanski is intentionally walked. Wally Backman Jr. singles between first and second to score Martinez and Babineau. Canaries manager Steve Shirley takes an excruciatingly slow walk to the mound. New Canaries pitcher is Kirk Clark. Jeremy Hamilton doubles to score Romanski. Justin Gominsky singles to score Backman. Hamilton scores on a wild pitch by Clark. Adam Taylor grounds out to second. Danny Pulfer lines out to short. END 7th INN: RailCats 8, Canaries 1

Eighth inning

Kagen Hopkins will pitch the eighth for the RailCats. Drew Muren grounds out to short. Carlos Mendez singles into left. Brandon Jones is walked. He's just the third walk of the game by a RailCats pitcher. Shelby Ford strikes out looking, he begs to differ with the umpire. Chris Valencia doubles to score Mendez and Jones. Tagert has a talk with Hopkins on the mound, but Hopkins stays. A single by AJ Kirby-Jones takes a funny hop over the glove of Danny Pulfer at short for another run, scored by Valencia. Chris Duffy strikes out on three pitches. MID 8th INNING: RailCats 8, Canaries 4

Kyle Kingsley comes in to pitch the eighth for the Canaries. Drew Martinez opens with an infield single. Zac Mitchell strikes out swinging. On a pitch to Ryan Babineau, Martinez steals second. Ryan Babineau strikes out looking at a 3-2 pitch. He officially took the bat off his shoulder twice tonight; he's seen 28 pitches in his 0-for-1, 4 walks, 2 runs night. Josh Romanski singles into center field, Martinez is out at a throw home. END 8th INNING: RailCats 8, Canaries 4

Ninth inning

Stephen Branca opens with a standup double. Kevin Dultz singles into left to put runners on the corners. Backman Jr. has a discussion with Hopkins on the mound. Drew Muren grounds to second, scoring Branca, taking Dultz out at second. Muren is safe at first on the fielder's choice. Carlos Mendez strikes out swinging. That's it for Hopkins who will be relieved by James Guilietti. Brandon Jones is walked. Swinging at the first pitch, Shelby Ford singles into left field to score Muren. Chris Valencia flies out to left -- deep left, deep scary left -- to end the game. FINAL: RailCats 8, Canaries 6

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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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