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RailCats ‘RC’ logo

GARY — The RailCats entered Saturday's game in must-win mode, sitting a game behind Fargo-Moorhead and Kansas City in the American Association wild card race with three to go.

The 'Cats played like it was playoff baseball, with a run in the first, another in the third and another in the sixth as the pitching staff held off Lincoln's hitters.

When the rain started at 8:16 p.m. Saturday, the RailCats were staring at a 3-1 lead and watching the scoreboard as the RedHawks and T-Bones played their road and home games respectively. After the rain delay, the RailCats added a run for a 4-1 win.

Fargo-Moorhead beat Winnipeg 8-1 early, holding onto the one-game lead on the RailCats. Meanwhile, the T-Bones lost to St. Paul 4-3 to tie the 'Cats in second in the race.

"Going into the final weekend we are playing for something other than just pride, and I'd say that's a great thing," manager Greg Tagert said before the game.

Cameron Newell had a hand on all of the RailCats runs. He hit sac flies in the first and third to score Alex Crosby, then ran home for the third run on a fielder's choice by Frank Martinez in the sixth. Newell was officially 0-for-0 with the run and two RBIs by the time the rain started in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The RailCats hold onto the tiebreakers against both Fargo and K.C., but need help from Winnipeg and St. Paul to use them. The 'Cats lost Friday to fall a game behind the RedHawks and T-Bones.

The RailCats also lost 41 other games this season, a point that Tagert likes to make as the playoff race heats up.

This season, the RailCats were 28-18 on the road and 26-25 at U.S. Steel Yard heading into Saturday's game.

"Our club is playing on the road like no other RailCats team," Tagert said. "It's been nothing short of impressive and what we've been able to do in some of these places, but with that is the ups and downs our ballclub has had."

The RailCats won 10 road series, tied one and lost three; at home, they won 13 series and lost seven.

Lincoln secured the Central Division title on Friday as Winnipeg won the North Division title. Wichita had earlier won the South title, leaving the wild card race to determine the final American Association postseason team.


Sports Director

Hillary 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.