A serious pitchers duel broke out on Monday night in Lincoln as the RailCats (34-21) rallied for six runs over the final two innings to defeat the Saltdogs (30-26) 7-1.
Both starters retired the side in order in each of the first three innings. RailCats starter Will Krout recorded three strikeouts, five ground outs and one fly out.
For Lincoln, Pete Parise retired the first nine he faced before walking Adam Klein on four pitches to start the fourth inning. Klein stole second and moved to third on Brian Kolb’s groundout. He stood on third when Ryan Babineau was robbed of a run-scoring single into the middle thanks to a dazzling play by shortstop Yasel Gomez.
In the top of the fifth, Christian Vitters broke up an opponents no-hit bid for the second consecutive game. Vitters tripled off the wall in right to leadoff the inning and scored on Cristian Guerrero’s groundout to third to take a 1-0 lead for the RailCats.
Saltdogs starter Pete Parise finished his night after seven innings. He allowed one run on four hits and one walk. He suffered his fourth loss of the season.
In the eighth, the RailCats added a pair of huge insurance runs. Working against reliever PJ Zocchi, Zac Mitchell walked to begin the inning and Danny Pulfer sacrificed him to second. Adam Klein followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners. Klein then stole second, setting up Mike Massaro to punch a base hit through the middle to make it 3-0 RailCats.
In the bottom of the inning, Lincoln finally broke through a run. After back-to-back singles with one out, Sean O’Connell lifted a fly ball to center to score Matt Forgatch from third. Then Yasel Gomez doubled into the left-field corner ending the night for RailCats starter Will Krout.
Krout delivered his best start of the season, seven and two third innings. He allowed one run on four hits and struck out six to pick up his second win of the season.
Krout, nearly was charged with his fifth straigh no-decision as reliever Boomer Potts loaded the bases with two out in relief. Potts, however, got Stephen Douglas to ground out to end the inning.
That set up the RailCats rally in the top of the ninth that put the game out of reach.
Working against reliever Danny Meszaros, Drew Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded. Then Zac Mitchell singled to load the bases again and Danny Pulfer drove in another with a base hit to right.
After a pitching change, Adam Klein punched a base hit through the middle to take a 7-1 advantage for the RailCats.
Ian Durham allowed one base runner in a scoreless ninth inning.
Adam Klein, Mike Massaro and Christian Vitters each had a pair of hits in the game.
The RailCats continue their three-game series in Lincoln Tuesday night. The radio broadcast for the RailCats and Saltdogs will begin at 7:00 p.m. on 89.1 FM the Lakeshore and www.RailCatsbaseball.com
One lucky fan will have a chance to take three swings to hit a home run and if that lucky fan does hit it out of the park they’ll win $10,000 in the RailCats July JACK-pot. For more information on July JACK-pot, call (219) 882-2255.