RAILCATS

RailCats 'RailCat' Saints on record-setting day

2013-06-23T20:00:00Z 2013-06-24T12:47:04Z RailCats 'RailCat' Saints on record-setting dayBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | The RailCats set season records and franchise records, and kept their identity in check as they swept a four-game series with the St. Paul Saints, rallying for an 8-7 win Sunday at U.S. Steel Yard.

Mike Massaro, who scored the winning run in the ninth inning, racked up two runs to pass former shortstop Jay Pecci for the top of the franchise's the all-time runs scored list. With three hits Sunday, he also passed Pecci as the team's top hitter.

It was his third hit, and his second run, that made the most noise.

The RailCats squandered a 6-3 lead against the Saints and fell behind 7-6 in the eighth inning.

The Saints brought in closer Matt Meyer, who blew a save with a three-run ninth on Friday, to finish off the RailCats.

With two out, Meyer walked Adam Klein and gave up the single to Massaro. Cristian Guerrero, who had fouled a ball off of his foot in the fourth inning, hit a slider into shallow left that scored Klein and Massaro.

"We talk all the time that, just who we are, we try to 'RailCat' somebody, that's what we call it, we try to 'RailCat' them," Massaro said. "It's just battling until the last out. ... That's just our M.O., we're going to grind it out and try to win games."

The walk to Klein was the third of the game to the left fielder. Klein passed former second baseman Eric McNamee for career-most walks as a RailCat.

"You'll have to tell me what it is, I don't know why it's so hard to throw (Klein) a strike," manager Greg Tagert said. "Mike comes up with the big hit, which is just tremendous. ... The book on Cristian is always let him get himself out, but the thing that doesn't surprise me that I know well about him is that the way he gets himself out early in a game is not the same way he'll battle late."

Guerrero finished with four RBIs, driving in two of the RailCats' first four runs on a single in the first inning and a double in the second.

He said the tone of the locker room has changed in the last 14 days when Guerrero gave a speech to his teammates after the RailCats were swept in a series against Sioux Falls.

The sweep of the Saints is the first for the 'Cats this season, who have missed series sweeps on three other occasions.

"We're fighters, so everything we've gone through, we go from there," Guerrero said. "You can tell it's different, we can feel it in the pace. It's quite different."

The top three in the order — Klein, Massaro and Guerrero — combined for six of the RailCats' eight hits and six RBIs.

"How fitting it is for those three to be in on a win like today," Tagert said. "Those three are such a big part of the club, on a day like today where both teams gutted out."

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