Chase Simpson Drives in 3 to Lead Railroaders to Victory
CLEBURNE, Texas (May 30, 2019) – A quality start from Michael Gunn, a Chase Simpson three-run homer, and a dominant two-inning save from Martire Garcia helped the Cleburne Railroaders to a 4-3 win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the series finale on Thursday night at The Depot. With the win, Cleburne secured a series win and moved into a virtual tie for first place atop the South Division standings.
Gunn (1-0) allowed only two hits, striking out four while issuing just one walk over six innings. He surrendered a pair of RBI groundouts in the second, but finished his outing by retiring 12 of the last 13 he faced, with the only runner reaching on an error.
The Cleburne offense struck quickly in the first to give Gunn support. After singles from Nick Rotola and Zach Nehrir, Simpson cranked a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left for a three-run shot to give the Railroaders (8-6) an early 3-0 advantage. It was Simpson’s seventh home run and RBI 17, 18, and 19, both league bests.
After the RedHawks (7-7) cut the lead to one run with a pair of tallies in the second, Cleburne scratched out a run of their own in the third. Simpson walked, moved to the third on a single from Jonathan Rodriguez, and came in to score on a fielder’s choice grounder from Angel Rosa to push the edge back to 4-2.
Fargo-Moorhead struck in the top of the seventh. With one out, Correlle Prime slapped a single through the left side, then raced in to score on an RBI double from Brian Olson. The Railroaders cut down Olson trying to go to third, then Hayden Shenefield induced a pop out to escape the inning with the lead intact.
Garcia entered in the eighth against the top of the RedHawks order, and went on to retire all six hitters he faced to secure his second save. The lefty racked up four more strikeouts on the night, giving him ten in the series over 4.2 innings of work.
The 8-6 start for Cleburne is the best in franchise history through the first two weeks of the season.
The Railroaders welcome the St. Paul Saints to town for the first of a three-game series on Friday night. Right-hander Charlie Gillies (1-1, 3.00) gets the ball for Cleburne, while the Saints will counter with fellow righty Eddie Medina (2-0, 2.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:06 PM.
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
By Denning Gerig