RailCats starter Alain Quijano was brilliant in six shutout innings to lead the RailCats to a 5-1 win over Wichita on Monday night at U. S. Steel Yard.
Quijano (1-0) scattered five hits, walked none and struck out three in an excellent turnaround after his Opening Night start, in which he allowed seven runs in 4 ? innings.
Gary scored the game’s first run for just the second time this year when Cristian Guerrero scorched a double down the left field line to score Mike Massaro in the bottom of the first.
With one out in the third, Guerrero walked and Ryan Babineau singled. Steve Liddle followed with a ground ball to first. CJ Ziegler threw down to second for the force, but the return throw by Ryan Khoury went into the Wingnuts first base dugout, allowing Guerrero to score and make it 2-0.
A rare play led to a run in the fourth for the RailCats. Martinez led off with a single to left center and Zac Mitchell walked. Chase Tucker showed bunt and slashed at the ball, poking it past the drawn in infield and then legging out a double when nobody covered second in time. The bunt double scored Martinez to give the ‘Cats a 3-0 edge.
Quijano’s start was nearly undone by the three-run homer as Will Krout’s was on Sunday. With two runners on in the top of the sixth, Cole Armstrong hammered a ball foul down the line that just curved foul. Armstrong popped out to the shortstop to end the evening for Quijano at 89 pitches.
The Wingnuts finally broke through in their half of the eighth inning. Ryan Khoury knocked a single to lead off the inning for the third time in the game. With one out, John Rodriguez hammered a double into the right-field corner to make it 3-1. Right-hander Ian Durham then walked CJ Ziegler on four pitches to put two on and one out. Durham wiggled his way out of the inning with a flyout to left and a strike out of Abel Nieves.
In the bottom of the eighth some fireworks erupted as Wingnuts catcher Cole Armstrong was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Mike Carroll. The RailCats took advantage of two walks in the inning and plated two runs on Adam Klein’s base hit to right to make it 5-1.
Morgan Coombs pitched a scoreless seventh and Clay Zavada threw a scoreless ninth.
The RailCats will play an 11:10 am game for Kids Day on Tuesday morning. Left-hander Ari Ronick will take the ball for Gary against Wichita right-hander Jon Link.