LIVE: RailCats vs Explorers, holding onto the wins

2013-07-24T17:00:00Z 2013-07-24T22:24:06Z LIVE: RailCats vs Explorers, holding onto the winsBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | The RailCats have won 15 games by a single run and eight games in the last at-bat. Of those 15, four have come against Sioux City.

RailCats Alain Quijano, who is slated to take the mound against the Explorers on Wednesday, has finished with a decision in each of his last six starts including a win on July 3 against Sioux City.

Quijano has not allowed a run to the Explorers in two previous starts this season. He made 13 starts as a member of the Sioux City club last season before he was traded to Grand Prairie. His 3.32 ERA with the Explorers was best on the pitching staff in 2012.

The RailCats' ace leads the league in games started with 14 and wins with eight. His 90 1/3 innings pitched is fifth in the league.

Today's lineup:

Sioux City Explorers (24-39)

CF Eliezer Mesa

SS Leugim Barroso

RF Peter Barrows

DH Austin Gallagher

1B Luke Murton

3B Bryan Pounds

LF Alberto Espinosa

2B Eddie Young

RHP Jason Jarvis (3-3, 3.29 ERA)


RailCats (37-26)

LF Adam Klein

RF Mike Massaro

DH Cristian Guerrero

C Ryan Babineau

1B Christian Vitters

3B Brian Kolb

CF Drew Martinez

SS Nick Liles

2B Danny Pulfer

LHP Alain Quijano (8-4, 3.88 ERA)


First inning

First pitch is a hit by Eliezer Mesa. On the second pitch, Mesa is caught stealing second. Leugim Barroso grounds out to short. Peter Barrows grounds out to third base and Alain Quijano has thrown just six pitches and he's out of the inning. Mid 1st inning: Explorers 0, RailCats 0

Adam Klein grounds out to third. Mike Massaro reaches on a walk. Cristian Guerrero pops out foul to first base. Mike Massaro steals second. Ryan Babineau singles, Massaro is out on the throw home. End 1st inning: RailCats 0, Explorers 0.

Second inning

Austin Gallagher is walked, then he takes second on a wild pitch. Luke Murton flies out to right followed by a fly out to center by Bryan Pounds (Drew Martinez barely had to move in center field). Sam Judah hits an infield single to move Gallagher to third. Alberto Espinosa grounds out to third. Mid 2nd inning: RailCats 0, Explorers 0

Christian Vitters singles with the 10th pitch of his at-bat. Brian Kolb doubles and Vitters is out at home. (That's the second time tonight the RailCats have been called out at home.) Drew Martinez singles. The RailCats have more hits than the Xs for the first time in the series. Nick Liles singles and Brian Kolb is thrown out at home. (seriously!) Two assists for RF Peter Barrows in a single game ties the American Association record. Danny Pulfer flies out to right-center. The RailCats had four hits in that inning, resulting in no runs. End 2nd inning: RailCats 0, Explorers 0

Third inning

Eddie Young is walked. Eliezer Mesa singles to move Young to third base. Leugim Barroso hits a sac fly that scores Young. Peter Barrows flies out to center. Austin Gallagher flies out to center. Mid 3rd inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Yusuke Inoguchi takes over for Sam Judah in left for the Explorers. Adam Klein grounds out to first. Mike Massaro is walked on five pitches. Cristian Guerrero singles into right, Massaro is stopped at third. Ryan Babineau grounds into a double play. End 3rd inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Fourth inning

Luke Murton flies out to center. Bryan Pounds strikes out swinging, the first K thrown by Alain Quijano. Yusuke Inoguchi flies out to right. Mid 4th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Christian Vitters singles, he's 2-for-2 so far tonight. Brian Kolb flies out to right field, Vitters stays at first. Drew Martinez hits a fielder's choice that takes out Vitters at second. Martinez is out, caught stealing second. He's the fifth runner caught on the basepaths. End 4th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Fifth inning

Alberto Espinosa singles to open the inning. Eddie Young strikes out looking. Eliezer Mesa hits a sac bunt to move Espinosa to second. Leugim Barroso grounds out to third. Mid 5th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Nick Liles strikes out swinging. Danny Pulfer grounds out to short, as does Adam Klein. End 5th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Sixth inning

Peter Barrows strikes out swinging. Austin Gallagher singles. Luke Murton lines out to third and Bryan Pounds strikes out looking. Quijano has three K over the last two innings. Mid 6th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Mike Massaro finally swings the bat, flying out to left field. Cristian Guerrero singles. Ryan Babineau strikes out and as the catcher lazily rolls the ball back to the mound, Guerrero takes second on the error. Christian Vitters hits an infield single, he's 3-for-3 and moves Guerrero to third. Brian Kolb grounds to second where Vitters is out on the base. End 6th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

Seventh inning

Alain Quijano enters the inning with 77 pitches. (FYI, Jason Jarvis has 101 pitches). Yusuke Inoguchi grounds out to second. Alberto Espinosa flies out to right and Eddie Young flies out to center. Mid 7th inning: Explorers 1, RailCats 0

New second baseman for the Explorers is Anthony Kaskadden, who just came off the DL today. Drew Martinez strikes out swinging. Nick Liles is walked. Danny Pulfer reaches first on an error by Kaskadden. Adam Klein loads the bases on a single into right (Liles was held at third, no chance for an out at home). That's it for Jason Jarvis, who will be replaced by Jimmer Kennedy. Mike Massaro singles up the middle to score Liles and Pulfer (no throw home to try to beat). Pulfer's run is unearned as he reached on the error. Cristian Guerrero grounds into the double play. End 7th inning: RailCats 2, Explorers 1

Eighth inning

Alain Quijano enters the inning with 90 pitches. Eliezer Mesa grounds out to short. Leugim Barroso grounds out to second on the first pitch he sees. Peter Barrows flies out to left. Mid 8th inning: RailCats 2, Explorers 1

Ryan Babineau taps a perfect bunt single to open the inning. Christian Vitters flies out foul to left field. Brian Kolb grounds out to second moving Babineau to second base. Drew Martinez grounds out to first base. End 8th inning: RailCats 2, Explorers 1

Ninth inning

The RailCats will look to Ian Durham to close out the game. Austin Gallagher leds off with a single. He's 2-for-2 tonight. Luke Murton flies out to left field (a homer in any other park, so the assist goes to U.S. Steel Yard). Bryan Pounds grounds into a double play. FINAL: RailCats 2, Explorers 1


Mike Massaro: "Pitching and defense, we say it all the time and it may be cliche but it's true. When we play good defense like we have the last couple days, we get great pitching like we have -- Q did an awesome job again and the other guys have stepped up -- it makes it easy. Then we only have to scrap out a couple runs, and we give the pitchers heart attacks all the time, but whatever it takes to get it done.

"Their pitchers are tough, too. They're trying to get people out just like our pitchers are trying to get people out. You could run into some good pitching, you could run into some bad luck -- I don't know how many balls Brian Kolb has hit hard right at some people, I don't know how many balls today we hit hard right at people and they're making diving plays -- we found a niche to find a way late to get it done and if we can keep that going it's only going to get better for us.

(Thrown out at home) "What are you going to do about it? Have you ever seen that happen? How many times have you seen that happen? You tip your cap to them, they made the plays, they were in the right place at the right time, they got us out.

(On his hit) "Finding the pitch you can hit, finding the pitch you can drive, being patient in a big situation. Sometimes you can be anxious in a big situation when you normally wouldn't and take my other at-bats into it. I was patient early in the game and I saw a lot of pitches and that only helps later on. I was lucky to get ahead early in the count and I saw a fast ball and put a good swing on it."

Greg Tagert: "It's just been another year, and you look back at the games between the RailCats and the Explorers over the last three years and it's been like this: Close, very fundamentally sound, maybe one mistake. Tonight it's one of those ones against one of the better pitchers in the league, against Jarvis, and the old saying that if you get to a good pitcher early, and we got to him early, but something you're not going to see, I don't know if I've ever seen three runners in the first two innings including what turned into a force play from right field. We were aggressive, there's no fault in that, and we made some questionable decisions perhaps and that hurt us, and there's that feeling when you do that and he settles in it's going to be a difficult night. The only benefit for us is that Jason had to work so hard in those first three innings that when he did settle in the pitch count got up there and we were able to get things going again in the seventh inning.

"I'm going to say we deserved that one. We played well. It's not like we were running ourselves out of innings recklessly. Barrows made a great throw in the first inning to get Massaro. Then again, I think in most cases (third base coach) Bobby (Segal) will tell you, we're very aggressive in that ball in the corner of left field, and perhaps it might have caught Christian by surprise we were sending him and when Christian rekicks it into gear, guys that are new to us they've got to learn that our third base coaches throughout the history of this team is 'expect to score.'

"The real story is Quijano. The one run in the third and he settled in, and I don't think Alain looked real comfortable on the mound. When you're facing a club a third time and Alain has to face them again next week ... in the six-man, when the schedule falls like this, it's something that's going to face us the rest of the season. What's going to happen is many times the pitchers are going to have to make adjustments, too. The club went up there swinging early and he did a nice job to make some adjustments in the game."

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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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