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RailRiders Hold Off Indy, Avoid Sweep

May 17, 2019 GMT

Cliff Pennington, Kyle Higashoka and Brad Miller all hit home runs and the RailRiders withstood a late rally to beat Indianapolis, 7-4, at Victory Field on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep. Drew Hutchison earned the win, surviving a bumpy first to allow just one unearned run on five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out a season-best nine, lowering his ERA from 6.75 to 5.60. Pennington’s three-run shot with two outs in the fourth inning off Indianapolis starter Doral Agrazal gave the RailRiders a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning. Gosuke Katoh followed with a double and scored on Billy Burns’ single. Agrazal entered the game with a 1.25 ERA over three Triple-A starts. The 24-year-old had allowed 12 hits in 21⅔ innings with just two walks and 20 strikeouts. The RailRiders worked him for five runs on five hits in 3⅔ innings, with three walks — he had two walks in 46 innings this season coming into the game — and three strikeouts. Higashioka stretched his hitting streak to eight games with a home run in the fifth. He’s raised his batting average from .160 to .314 and his slugging percentage from .200 to .608 over the stretch. Miller made it back-to-back blasts, and the RailRiders led, 7-1. Will Craig cut into the lead with a two-run homer in the eighth off RailRiders reliever Danny Coulombe, who was appearing in his first game since April 9 after a stint on the injured list with a shoulder injury. The lefty allowed two runs on four hits in two innings Thursday, walked one and struck out two. JB Schuck tagged reliever J.P. Feyereisen for a ground-rule double to start the bottom of the ninth, but the RailRiders reliever pushed Indianapolis to the brink with two straight popouts. He then lost the strikezone, however, walking Ke’Bryan Hayes and Jose Osuna on nine total pitches to load the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate. The RailRiders called on Cale Coshow to get out of the jam but he lost Craig on a full-count to force in a run. Coshow appeared to have the save locked down when he got Kevin Kramer to hit a pop up in foul territory behind home plate, but it clanked out of Higashioka’s glove and gave Kramer another shot. The error ultimately didn’t hurt the RailRiders, as Coshow burned a 96-mph fastball past Kramer for a strikeout to end the game. Contact the writer: sports@timesshamrock.com; @RailRidersTT on Twitter