had a pair of run-scoring extra-base hits and Tanner Townsend
launched a key late insurance home run as the Gary SouthShore RailCats came from behind to beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the second night in a row, winning 9-6 Tuesday at U. S. Steel Yard.
The win was the RailCats third straight and guaranteed the ‘Cats a series win over the RedHawks for the first time in four tries this season. Down 3-0 after an inning and a half, the RailCats battled all the way back to take the lead with a four-run sixth off reliever Casey Hoorelbeke (8-4), who had allowed only two hits in 9.1 innings against the ‘Cats before Tuesday.
The decisive sixth began with starter T.J. Stanton still in the game, but he was yanked after walking leadoff hitter Cristian Guerrero. That brought Hoorelbeke out of the bullpen and Townsend to the plate where the ‘Cats third baseman hit a sinking line drive to left that Jay Cox had hit off his glove for a two-base error. That sent Ott to the dish, and he delivered a rocket double into the gap in left-center to score both runs and give the RailCats their first lead. Mike Rohde followed with a double of his own, plating Ott, and Rohde would come in to score the seventh RailCats run on a two-out Adam Klein single.
With the RailCats now in front 7-4, Fargo created an instant rally in the very next inning when Carlo Cota hit a two-run home run. That set the stage for Townsend in the bottom of the seventh, as he smashed an 0-2 pitch from Jeremy Hauer down the leftfield line for a two-run homer, his fifth of the season and the 44th of his RailCats career. The two-run bomb provided the final 9-6 margin.
Brad Furnish closed out the game with two scoreless relief innings for his second save, but Furnish was the only one of four RailCats pitchers who did not allow a run. Willie Glen (7-2) started and earned the win, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits in 6.0 innings. Glen labored through his six frames but battled inning after inning to improve to 6-0 in his last nine starts.
The RedHawks jumped in front in the first when Mike Coles doubled and came around to score on a sacrifice fly. Fargo added a pair of unearned runs in the second inning when Glen fielded a ground ball with the bases loaded and threw wildly home to allow two runs to score.
The RailCats got two runs back in the bottom of the second inning, again thanks to Ott. With Guerrero on first base and one out, Ott tripled into right-center to score one, and Ott scored himself moments later on a Rohde base hit. Fargo took a 4-2 lead on Eric Campbell’s second home run in as many nights in the fourth, but the RailCats chimed back with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Klein singled home Mike Valadez, who had reached on a bunt single.
Rohde went 3-for-4 and Klein was 3-for-5 in the win, while Ott was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. In his last five games, Ott is 10-for-19 with four extra-base hits and eight RBI. Klein picked up where he left off after Monday night’s walk-off hit, driving in two and notching two stolen bases.
Hoorelbeke took the loss out of the RedHawks bullpen, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits in one inning. Stanton allowed four runs on five hits and three walks to start the night.
The RailCats (30-31) and RedHawks (35-23) wind down their season series Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at U. S. Steel Yard. Southpaw Tom Thornton (1-7, 4.47 ERA) will start for the ‘Cats while Scott Fogelson (5-2, 3.38 ERA) set to go for Fargo.