GARY | The RailCats have hung the buntings and massaged the field prepping for today's opener against Wichita.
Coming in with a 3-3 record, the 'Cats face the Wingnuts which old a 5-2 record.
Festivities for opening day include a ring presentation to celebrate the 2013 American Association Championship, a national anthem sung by Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison, and eventually a baseball game.
The stadium includes the addition of a new digital, LED scoreboard which was only recently installed. Among the benefits of the new board is immediate video-audio recognition and a better picture. The 'Cats front office staff is eager to sell more commercials on the board and translate that into dollars.
To incorporate the full pregame festivities, the game time has been pushed to 7:30 instead of 7:10.
Wichita Wingnuts (5-2)
SS Ryan Khoury
LF Carlo TEsta
2B Jake Kahaulelio
CF Brent Levlen
C JT Wise
DH Mike Hernandez
3B Dillon Hazlet
RF David Amberson
1B Taylor Oldhan
RHP Tim Brown (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
SS Danny Pulfer
RF Drew Martinez
LF Josh Romanski
C Ryan Babineau
3B Wally Backman Jr.
DH Craig Maddox
CF Justin Gominsky
1B Jeremy Hamilton
2B Zac Mitchell
RHP Stephen Hiscock (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
First pitch comes at 7:29 with a game-time temp of 60 degrees. Ryan Khoury flies out to right. Carlo Testa, a lefty, strikes out swinging. Jake Kahaulelio also flies out to right. MID 1st INN: Wingnuts 0, RailCats 0
Danny Pulfer takes an Adam Klein-like at-bat, with three foul balls, then lines out to the pitcher. Drew Martinez hits an infield single. He's out at second caught stealing. Josh Romanski hits a two-out single to right. Romanski takes second on a balk. Ryan Babineau strikes out swinging. END 1st INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0
Brent Clevlen flies out to center. JT Wise singles into shallow left for the first hit of the game against Stephen Hiscock. Then, Hiscock collects his second K of the game, catching Mike Hernandez swinging. Dillon Hazlett singles into shallow left -- the ball kind of just died in the U.S. Steel Yard air -- moving Wise to second. David Amberson takes an 11-pitch at-bat before grounding to second where Hazlett is out on the fielder's choice. MID 2nd INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0
Wally Backman Jr. grounds out to second. People, people, people! Craig Maddox doubles into left field. Justin Gominsky grounds out to short, advancing Maddox to third. Jeremy Hamilton flies out to right-center, leaving Maddox on. END 2nd INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0
Stephen Hiscock issues his third strike, this one to Taylor Oldhan. Ryan Khoury strikes out looking and then Carlo Testa strikes out swinging. That's five K for Hiscock. MID 3rd INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0
Zac Mitchell grounds out to short. Danny Pulfer singles, followed quickly by a Drew Martinez single. Josh Romanski strikes out, leaving two where they were. Ryan Babineau grounds out to second. The 'Cats have left four on in three innings. END 3rd INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0.
Jake Kahaulelio grounds back to Hiscock on the mound. Brent Clevlen flies out to right. JT Wise is the sixth K victim of Hiscock. MID 4th INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0
Wally Backman Jr. reaches first on an error by Jake Kahaulelio. Craig Maddox grounds to second, Kahaulelio tries to tag Backman on the run, misses and throws to first to take out Maddox. Justin Gominsky grounds out to third. Jeremy Hamilton flies out to deepish left field. END 4th INN: RailCats 0, Wingnuts 0
Mike Hernandez opens with a home run on the first pitch he sees. Dillon Hazlet is the seventh K for Hiscock. David Amberson is ruled to have struck out swinging on a checked swing, which Amberson disagrees with. Taylor Oldhan strikes out looking. MID 5th INN: Wingnuts 1, RailCats 0
Zac Mitchell turns a single into a double with some serious speed. Danny Pulfer grounds out to third, keeping Mitchell on second. Drew Martinez grounds out to second, moving Mitchell to third. Josh Romanski grounds out to second to leave Mitchell on. The RailCats have left runners on in every inning. END 5th INN: Wingnuts 1, RailCats 0
Ryan Khoury grounds out to short. Carlo Testa doubles to put a runner on. That's followed by a single from Jake Kahaulelio. Runners are on the corners. A single by Brent Clevlen scores Testa. There's a meeting on the mound with Hiscock. JT Wise singles to score Kahaulelio, and that's it for Hiscock, who leaves with 9 K in 5 1/3. Ethan Gibbons will make his U.S. Steel Yard debut. A wild pitch by Gibbons advances the runners and an errant throw by Ryan Babineau scores Clevlen. Mike Hernandez is walked unintentionally. A wild pitch advances Hernandez to second. The second out of the inning is a throw from first to second at first base (scramble for the ball, but the out counts). David Amberson pops out to short. MID 6th INN: Wingnuts 4, RailCats 0
Ryan Babineau pops out to second. Wally Backman Jr. strikes out swinging. Craig Maddox grounds out to the pitcher and is caught on the basepath to first. END 6th INN: Wingnuts 4, RailCats 0
Taylor Oldhan flies out to center field. Ryan Khoury flies out to right. A single up the middle by Carlo Testa keeps the inning alive. Carlo Testa is caught stealing to end inning. 7th INN STRETCH: Wingnuts 4, RailCats 0
New Wingnuts pitcher is Matt Robertson. Tim Brown went six innings of scoreless ball, allowing six hits and striking out three. Justin Gominsky strikes out swinging. Jeremy Hamilton singles to give the 'Cats a runner on. Zac Mitchell pops out to short. Danny Pulfer flies out to center field. END 7th INN: Wingnuts 4, RailCats 0
Mike Weatherly relieves Ethan Gibbons. Jake Kahaulelio doubles to open the inning. He'll take third on a Weatherly wild pitch. Brent Clevlen pops out to second, leaving Weatherly on third. JT Wise singles up the middle to score Kahaulelio. Mike Hernandez and Dillon Hazlett fly out to center field. MID 8th INN: Wingnuts 5, RailCats 0
New Wingnuts pitcher is Daniel Bennett to face the RailCats. Drew Martinez hits an infield single to put a runner on. Josh Romanski knocks a ball back to the mound, it's bobbled, but Romanski is out at first and Martinez is on second. Ryan Babineau is hit by a pitch. Wally Backman Jr. grounds to second where Babineau is taken out at second base. The call was close and the fans disagree. Craig Maddox pops out foul to third base. END 8th INN: Wingnuts 5, RailCats 0
Chuck Fontana in to close for the RailCats. David Amberson grounds out to short. Taylor Oldhan strikes out looking, that's his third K of the game. Ryan Khoury strikes out swinging. MID 9th INN: Wingnuts 5, RailCats 0
Mike Zouzalik will close for the Wingnuts. Justin Gominsky is walked to give the RailCats a leadoff runner for the third time tonight. Jeremy Hamilton strikes out swinging. Zac Mitchell singles into right-center to move Gominsky to third. Danny Pulfer is walked to load the bases. Drew Martinez is walked to score Gominsky and give the RailCats their first run of the game. Josh Romanski singles between first and second to score Mitchell and Pulfer. Ryan Babineau strikes out swinging. Wally Backman Jr. strikes out looking to end the game. The RailCats finish 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. FINAL: Wingnuts 5, RailCats 3