South beats North in slaughter rule game at home of Gary SouthShore RailCats

by Josh Bootsma

GARY, Ind. (April 21, 2021) – The annual district rivalry game between the TF South and TF North baseball teams was once again hosted at U.S. Steel Yard, a professional baseball stadium in Gary, Indiana, that is home to the Gary SouthShore RailCats.

The stadium, which can hold up to 6,139 people, held nearly 100 socially-distant fans for Wednesday night’s game, during which temperatures dipped to near freezing.

District 215 Superintendent Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond threw out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Wednesday’s contest.

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TF South players congratulate each other after a scoring play during Wednesday’s District 215 rivalry game against TF North. (Photo: Nico Hernandez)

The chilling temperature didn’t cool TF South’s pitching or hitting, as the team held the Meteors to no runs while scoring 22 themselves. After scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, TF South scored 8 runs in the second inning and 12 in the third. IHSA baseball rules dictate that if a team is leading by more than 15 runs in the fourth inning, a slaughter rule is applied, meaning the game is over. After TF North did not score in the top of the fourth, the game concluded with a final score of 22-0.

Pitching prowess and coach comments

Head baseball coach Matt Tiffy praised the efforts of the whole team after Wednesday’s win, especially the efforts of the starting pitcher, senior Nate Salas. Salas threw all four innings in Wednesday’s contest, letting up only one hit and notching 12 strikeouts, according to Tiffy. 12 strikeouts in a four-inning game means every out in the game for TF South came via a strikeout.

“He did a hell of a job. Just getting him going was a big piece of [the win],” Tiffy said.

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TF South senior and starting pitcher Nate Salas prepares for his next at-bat in the midst of throwing a 1-hit, 12-K gem on Wednesday night. (Photo: Nico Hernandez)

Lansing Journal photographer and videographer Nico Hernandez spoke to Salas on the field after the game:

Tiffy also said he was able to get all of his varsity players into the game at some point, something that was important for the seniors especially.

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CJ Gales settles into his batting stance as he awaits a pitch. (Photo: Nico Hernandez)

“We got our seniors to play, so they have this good memory. You know, they’ll always remember it. … Kids always look forward to this one, especially against TF North,” he said.

“Not many guys get to play on a professional field. … Look around, this is a great ballpark,” Tiffy added.

The Gary SouthShore Railcats are part of the American Association of Professional Baseball, an independent professional baseball league. The U.S. Steel Yard stadium was completed in 2002 and is located just south of Interstate 90 at 1 Stadium Plaza, Gary, IN.

Scenes from the ballpark

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TF South settled into the dugout that is usually home to the Gary SouthShore RailCats. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
The size of U.S. Steel Yard allowed fans to get some excellent views of the action. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
The concession stand was open for business during Wednesday’s game. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
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Blankets and coats were called to arms as the temperature inched closer to freezing. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
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Many fans hunkered down and didn’t let the cold keep them from watching the whole game. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
U.S. Steel Yard, home of the Gary SouthShore RailCats, is located just south of I-90 at 1 Stadium Plaza, Gary, IN. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Nico Hernandez took photos and video for this story. He has his own podcast called WeSportin Podcast, where he talks about national sports with his cohosts. The podcast is available on YouTube.

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