RailCats fall on ninth-inning homer

2012-06-23T22:00:00Z RailCats fall on ninth-inning homerBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | After scoring double-digit runs in three games this season, the RailCats have followed the offensive explosions with a loss.

A no different outcome to Saturday's game, the RailCats fell on a ninth-inning homer by Stephen Holdren in the 3-2 loss to Lincoln after a 10-7 win on Friday.

"It's been the story of our year," manager Greg Tagert said. "We can not keep any momentum — I don't know, momentum in baseball is such an odd phrase — just string together something to get us on the right track."

After falling behind on a first-inning home run by Lincoln's Mike Provencher, the RailCats used a lead-off triple by David Cooper in the third to tie the game at 1-1, and went ahead with a Cooper bunt in the fourth.

Lincoln tied the game with back-to-back singles in the seventh inning, chalking up a no decision for starter Stephen Hiscock.

Hiscock has turned himself in to the RailCats' most effective starter after making the transition from a reliever. He hasn't started in two previous years in the Tampa Bay Rays system, and has allowed just eight earned runs in five starts.

Hiscock was pulled in the seventh after throwing 77 pitches because the RailCats are in their second game of 19 without a break, and Tagert said the goal was to give him fewer pitches in his first start of the stretch.

"We had to make the decision tonight whether to extend him a little bit, and going on three days rest over the next several turns, this was the perfect time to prepare him," Tagert said.

The RailCats scored 17 runs against Kansas City on May 23, then lost to Wichita in their next game on May 25. They scored 16 in a win against Sioux Falls on May 28, then were shut out by the Pheasants on May 29. They beat Newark 20-11 on June 8, then lost 6-4 on June 9.

The RailCats also haven't won two in a row since Beating Newark and Wichita in back-to-back games on June 10-11. A two-game streak is the best the 'Cats have mustered this season, unable to win three straight.

The RailCats entered Saturday in fourth place, 10 1/2 games out of first place in the American Association Central Division. Even with the win, Lincoln remains in fifth place in the division. 

"We played well, which is the important thing, and I always say that if you play well enough, it'll translate to wins," Tagert said. "I hate to say it, but this early we're digging ourselves a hole, we are digging ourselves a hole. This club, for whatever reason, right now is just a little short of putting it together and it's concerning because we've done everything we could with this group."

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