07/10/2018 3:36 PM
GARY, Ind. – The Texas AirHogs trailed 3-0 after four innings but mounted a furious comeback Tuesday afternoon in Gary, scoring seven times on eleven hits from the fifth inning on to defeat the RailCats 7-4. The victory was the third in a row and the sixth in the last game for Texas. The series win is the second for the team in the last three.
After failing to reach base over the first four innings vs. Gary starter Jeff McKenzie (2-6), the AirHog bats came to life in the fifth and sixth. Dillon Thomas led off the fifth with a double before scoring on a ball put in play by Du Xiaolei.
In the sixth, Luo Jinjun led off vs. McKenzie with a single and came home to score on a double a batter later by Yang Jin. The AirHogs equalized the game on an RBI fielder’s choice by Stewart Ijames before Thomas gave the team the lead with an RBI groundout. Chen Junpeng would pick up the final RBI of the four-run frame to put Texas up 5-3.
Tyler Matzek (2-5) got the start for the AirHogs and allowed three runs (three earned) on eight hits and four walks. But he also struck out four and stranded nine runners overall and seven in scoring position to ultimately earn the win.
Zheng Chaoqun allowed one run but stranded two aboard in the sixth before Lu Yusong, Tu Jialun and Taylor Wright combined for a scoreless seventh. In the eighth, Thomas went deep for his eighth homer of the season to put the lead out of reach at 7-4.
Wright and Carlos Contreras pitched the eighth and ninth for Texas. Contreras left a runner on second to finish off his second save of the series and fifth save of the season. AirHog pitching left 15 aboard, a season-high for Gary. The AirHogs outhit the RailCats 11-10.
Texas (14-34) and Gary SouthShore (24-25) will close the three-game series Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. at U.S. Steel Yard. LHP Gan Quan (0-5, 4.05 ERA) is expected to start for the AirHogs vs. an officially to-be-announced starter for Gary. The potential sweep would be the first of the year for Texas. A live broadcast of the game will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs.
The Texas AirHogs - powered by Beijing Shougang Eagles travel to Gary and Wichita this week and will return home July 16 for a doubleheader vs. the Chicago Dogs. Tickets for all home games are available. Visit AirHogsBaseball.com for more information. For the latest news, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TXAirHogs. Media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org.