After a successful 16-10 month of June, the Sioux Falls Pheasants started July on a similar note. They made a late comeback Sunday afternoon to earn a 4-2 win over the Gary SouthShore Railcats before 3,215 fans at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Sioux Falls has taken three straight games from the RailCats and has won their last four contests. They are a season-best five games over .500 (23-18).
The Pheasants trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh inning before Cristian Guerrero’s solo home run tied it up. It was Guerrero’s 12th home run and his sixth against RailCats pitching. Jake Taylor’s two-RBI triple three batters later put the Pheasants ahead 4-2. Taylor smacked the ball to center field and easily slid into third base, but the throw to third went into the dugout, allowing Taylor to come home.
“It was a low-scoring game and we had to make something happen,” said Pheasants manager Steve Shirley. “When we had some opportunities, we made the big hit.”
The RailCats (16-26) had leads twice in the game. Mike Rohde’s solo home run gave the RailCats a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Jonny Kaplan evened it up in the sixth inning, blasting a solo home run to left.
Chris Carrara answered in the seventh inning for the RailCats. He slapped an RBI double that scored Sean Henry for a 2-1 lead.
Jack Van Leur (3-0) earned the win in relief of starter Alan DeRatt. Van Leur only pitched one-third on an inning allowing two hits. DeRatt threw a quality start, going 6 2/3 innings allowing two runs on seven hits.
“I thought we started it off with a really good start from Alan (DeRatt), and when we went to the bullpen, the guys came out and did the job we needed them to do,” said Shirley. “From an overall standpoint I thought the guys threw well and forced them to hit the ball. All in all, it was a good day for the pitching staff.”
Marco Gonzales (1-1) suffered the loss, relieving RailCat starter Will Krout. Gonzales hurled one-third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Krout tossed a quality start, going six innings and allowing only one run on four hits while striking out five in the no-decision.
Cody Evans threw a perfect ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season and his second of this series.
“I was really pleased with what we got and pleased by the effort of these guys to pull it off today,” said Shirley. “In a game like this you felt like it was going to be close, so you need somebody to step up and get a key hit; we had several do it today.”
The Pheasants play their home game tomorrow and bid for a four-game series sweep for the first time since 2010. They trail Winnipeg by three games for the Northern Division lead.
The finale of the four-game series with Gary SouthShore is at 7:05 p.m. on Monday, July 2, at Sioux Falls Stadium.
“Kids FREE in June” continues. Two tickets for children 12-and-under are free with every regular-priced adult ticket purchased. It’s also Meineke Monday. Fans in attendance will receive discount coupons for Meineke service.
Courtesy: Scott Beatty, SF Pheasants