Cougars 6, RailCats 8 – Boxscore
The Gary SouthShore RailCats swung the bats with authority as they launched three long balls in their 8-6 win over the Kane County Cougars.
After leaving a few runners on base in the first two innings, the RailCats broke through in the bottom of the third. Daniel Lingua and LG Castillo registered back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on first and second base, and Jesus Marriaga doubled to left field to get the ‘Cats on the board. Tom Walraven added a base hit two batters later to tack on another run.
That set Sam Abbott up at the plate with runners on the corners, and he launched a three-run home run onto the berm in right field, capping off a five-run frame. His long ball marked his 20th of the year, breaking a tie with Cristian Guerrero to claim the franchise’s single-season record and becoming the first-ever RailCat to hit 20 in one season.
The Cougars made their way into the run column through a solo home run in the top of the fifth, but the RailCats quickly answered back by plating a pair in their half of the inning. Castillo led off by depositing a home run over the left field wall, and following a Victor Nova walk and Walraven reaching on an error, Abbott lined a single to center field to extend the Gary SouthShore lead to six runs at 7-1.
However, Kane County refused to go down easily. An RBI single cashed in a walk and ground rule double to open the top of the sixth, but as Kane County base runners stood on the corners with just one out, RailCats starter Adam Heidenfelder took matters into his own hands. A strikeout and flyout eliminated the threat, and Gary SouthShore took a five-run advantage into the final three frames.
Once again, the Cougars offense sprung to life in the seventh. A walk and an error positioned runners on first and second before a home run reduced Kane County’s deficit to two at 7-5.
Heidenfelder remained in the game to finish the inning, and in doing so, he reached 100 innings pitched in 2022, the first time he achieved that milestone in his career. The right-hander finished the night allowing five runs (two earned) on four hits, striking out five, improving his record to 7-6.
In need of late-inning insurance, Walraven stepped up to give the RailCats some breathing room. He connected on a solo home run, his 12th of the season, restoring the Gary SouthShore edge to 8-5.
Kane County, though, continued to hang around, and two walks in the top of the eighth inning moved the tying run into the batter’s box. At that moment, the ‘Cats turned to Jack Eisenbarger out of the bullpen, and he struck out six-year Major League veteran Nick Franklin to squash a potential rally.
As the RailCats stood three outs away from the victory, the Cougars mounted one last rally to tie the contest. The first two batters of the ninth inning placed the tying run up at the plate, but a double play brought Kane County down to their final out. The next batter singled to score a run and put the tying run at the dish once again, but Eisenbarger conjured up a strikeout to close out the win.
RedHawks 2, Explorers 7 – Boxscore
The Sioux City Explorers got seven strong innings from starter Patrick Ledet and won the rubber game of the three game set from the Fargo Moorhead RedHawks 7-2.
After retiring the first seven batters he faced of the game Patrick Ledet ran into his only hiccup of the game in the top of the third. A walk to Alec Olund was followed by a double into the left field corner that scored Olund from first and gave Fargo a 1-0 lead.Manuel Boscan singled with two out to bring home Correa handing Fargo a 2-0 lead.
But the hit from Boscan was the final baserunner Ledet allowed. Ledet (6-4) retired the next 12 consecutive batters and picked up the win by tossing seven innings of two hit, two run baseball with seven strikeouts and a walk.
The X’s cut into the deficit with a run in the bottom of the third. Jack Kelly led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a Danry Vasquez fielder’s choice to make it 2-1.
The score remained that way until Sioux City took the lead in the sixth. Gabe Snyder doubled with one out and scored on an Ademar Rifaela base hit that tied the game 2-2. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, and a fielder’s choice put two outs on the board a wild pitch and a passed ball scored a pair of runs to give the Explorers a 4-2 lead.
David Feldman (6-6) was handed the loss for Fargo. He went five and one-third innings allowed three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
In the seventh the Explorers walked the bases loaded with the first three batters to the plate. Snyder singled to left to drive in a pair and Miguel Sierra punched a sacrifice fly into center field to finish the scoring at 7-2 Explorers.
With the win, coupled with a Saltdogs sweep of the Canaries, Sioux City is two games ahead of the Saltdogs for the final playoff berth in the American Association postseason. For the Explorers, if they win two out of the four game series they will earn a playoff berth. If Lincoln wins three out of the four, the Saltdogs will earn the spot.
Saltdogs 9, Canaries 6 – Boxscore
Josh Altmann hit a grand slam, and the ‘Dogs finished off the sweep with a 9-6 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium on Thursday night.
Altmann’s grand slam gave Lincoln (46-50) a 4-0 lead in the 1st inning. It was his team-best 15th homer and first grand slam as a Saltdog. The ‘Dogs then added two more in the inning, with an RBI single from Matt Goodheart and an RBI triple from Hunter Clanin.
The ‘Dogs scored two more in the 2nd. Jason Rogers made it 7-0 with an RBI triple and Luke Roskam extended his RBI streak to six games with a groundout to make it 8-0.
Lincoln took a 9-0 lead on Welington Dotel’s RBI single in the 4th, but the Canaries (32-64) responded with an RBI double from Ozzie Martinez in the bottom-half.
In the 5th, Gavin LaValley hit a three-run homer – his 20th – to make it 9-4. Wyatt Ulrich later scored on LaValley’s groundout to make it 9-5 in the 7th inning. Matt Cronin walked in a run in the 9th inning, but Steffon Moore closed the door for his 11th save this season.
John Bezdicek picked up his first professional win, allowing four runs over 5 and 2/3 innings.
The ‘Dogs have won five consecutive games for the first time since late May, and are two games back of Sioux City with four games remaining.
DockHounds 3, Railroaders 5 – Boxscore
Both teams held strong through three innings, but the flood gates opened up on scoring in the 4th and the Cleburne Railroaders (46-50) defeated the Lake Country DockHounds (34-62) with a final score of 5-3.
In the bottom of the 4th inning the Railroaders scored twice: once from a Jacob Bockelie and once from a Nick Shumpert walk. That’s a lot of walking.
Then in the bottom of the 5th inning the Railroaders scored three more runs. This time a Chase Simpson single was enough to get two base runners home and a Kacey Clemens double was enough to get Simpson home after Simpson stole a base.
The DockHounds only two runs came from an unearned run in the top of the 6th and an RBI single from Manuel Blanco in that same inning.
The Railroaders continue to let loose on the DockHounds as they plan to make a deep push into the playoffs.
Dogs 12, Milkmen 1 – Boxscore
Things got out of hand quickly in Franklin as the Chicago Dogs (53-43) unleashed on the Milwaukee Milkmen (51-45) with an 11-run 3rd inning making the largest impact on the game.
The Chicago Dogs scored 11 runs in the top of the 3rd inning. Okay. Try to keep up.
It all started with a Cody Bohanek double to left field which scored Anfernee Grier. Then Eric Rivera made it to first base on an error and then Ryan Lidge walked which scored another run and K.C. Hobson walked which scored yet another run.
The bases were still juiced when Stevie Wilkerson hit a grounder and made it to 1st base on a fielders choice play. Rivera scored in the process. To score Lidge, Harrison Smith then hit a single.
Anfernee Grier came up to the plate with two men on and hit a triple. Let’s just say there were no longer two men on.
Bohanek came back up to the plate and hit a single to score Grier and lasly Connor Kopach hit a 2-run homer to end the scoring in the third.
Both the Chicago Dogs and the Milwaukee Milkmen scored had single run innings late in the game, but these had seemingly no impact on the final score.
The Dogs scored their final run in the top of the 7th on a Connor Kopach sacrifice fly to left field while Carl Chester of the Milkmen also hit a sacrifice fly to center field in the following inning.