Zac Mitchell did it to the Winnipeg Goldeyes again.
Saturday night in front of 5,484 at Shaw Park, Mitchell went three-for-four, scored a run and drove in five as the Gary SouthShore RailCats defeated the Winnipeg Goldeyes 11-6.
A week ago in Gary, Ind., Mitchell hit two home runs, including a three-run, game-winning, walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth as Gary came from 5-3 down to beat Winnipeg 6-5. Mitchell now has 12 RBI against the Goldeyes this season.
“We've made his (Mitchell's) season,” said Forney. “We'll have to change our game plan against him. Really, we'll have to do something different tomorrow to keep him off the bases.”
With the loss, the Goldeyes snapped a three-game winning streak and fell to 24-22 on the season. Winnipeg will remain in second place in the American Association's North Division, but did fall 3 1/2 games behind Gary in the Wild Card race.
“We just didn't have any pitching,” Forney said. “It really wasn't very good today. It wasn't very efficient. And the game was sloppy. Offensively, I thought we had another good night tonight, but when you don't get first pitch strikes, it opens up a can of worms.”
Interestingly, the Goldeyes drew first blood, as Ray Sadler hit a monster home run to give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead in the first.
Gary scratched out two runs in the second on a hit batsman, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a two-run single by Mitchell.
Winnipeg got a run back in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2-2, but Gary took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third with a two-out single, a stolen base and another single.
The RailCats put up three in the top of the sixth, but Winnipeg answered with three of their own in the bottom of the inning, as Casey Haerther doubled and Fehlandt Lentini doubled him home. Lentini stole third and came home on a ground out by Ryan Scoma and then Luis Alen hit a solo homer, his first home run of the year.
That made the score 6-5, but in the top of the eighth, Mitchell drove in three more runs, the RailCats sent 10-men to the plate and put up a five spot. That buried Winnipeg and gave Gary the first game of this four-game series.
Gary starter Bill Spottiswood (2-0, 4.84 ERA) gave up five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, but he still got the win. Goldeyes starter Ryan Sasaki (2-4, 5.36 ERA) lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with four walks and he took the loss.
The Goldeyes pounded out 13 hits and Mike Coles had three of them. Alen, Haerther and Sadler each had two hits.
The Goldeyes and RailCats play Game 2 of this four-game set on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. Matt Rusch (4-3, 4.52 ERA) will get the start for Winnipeg, while Alain Quijano (7-2, 3.78 ERA) will take to the bump for Gary.