In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps the exciting games around the American Association on Tuesday, as the Cleburne Railroaders battled back from four down to down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and the Lincoln Saltdogs came back from nine to defeat the Wichita Wingnuts 11-10. Read the recaps of all six games.
Railroaders Win in Dramatic Fashion
On a night where the Lincoln Saltdogs would come from nine down to defeat the Wichita Wingnuts, the Cleburne Railroaders were completing a great comeback of their own. The Railroaders fell behind 5-1 before scoring four in the seventh and one in the eighth to down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 6-5.
The Cleburne Railroaders took the lead in the bottom of the second. Patrick Palmeiro led off with a single. Sebastian Kessay retired the next two batters, but Cameron Monger kept the inning alive with a base hit to center. Devan Ahart tried to nail Palmeiro at third, but his throw was wild and Palmeiro came around to score to make it 1-0.
Jared Mortensen had breezed through the first three frames for Cleburne, but the RedHawks would finally get to him in the fourth. Maikol Gonzalez started the inning with a single and scored when Randolph Oduber doubled two batters later. With two down, Charlie Valerio walked to put two on and Oduber scored on a single by Joe DeLuca. Valerio came home on another two-out hit, this one by Leobaldo Pina, and it was 3-1 Fargo-Moorhead.
The RedHawks extended their lead with single runs in the sixth and seventh. In the sixth, Valerio connected on a 1-0 offering for his second home run of the season. An inning later, Gonzalez singled with one out and moved to second on a walk to Keury De La Cruz. Both runners moved up on the stolen base attempt. The throw by the Railroaders catcher was wild, allowing Gonzalez to score and it was 5-1.
The Cleburne Railroaders responded right away in the bottom half of the inning, mounting a rally with two down. Tyler Herr came on and struck out the first two batters of the frame, but Angelo Gumbs kept the frame alive with a single and moved to third when Monger and Blake Grant-Parks walked to load the bases. Trevor Sealey drew the base on balls to drive home a run to make it 5-2.
That would be it for Herr, as Pete Perez came on. He induced K.C. Huth to ground to second in what should have been the final out, but the ball was booted, allowing Huth to reach and Monger to score. That brought Alex Polston to the plate, who lined a single up the middle that scored both Grant-Parks and Sealey and the game was tied.
Into the eighth the contest went where Cleburne would retake the lead. Patrick Palmeiro led off with a single and moved to third when father Rafael followed with a base hit. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Gumbs and the Railroaders were back on top.
Cortland Cox had come on to pitch for Cleburne in the eighth and remained for the ninth. The righty retired all six batters he faced to finish off the game for his first win of the season. He struck out 3.
Patrick Palmeiro finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored and Angelo Gumbs was 2-3 with a run and an RBI. Maikol Gonzalez was 3-5 with 2 runs scored for the RedHawks.
Garrett Copeland Drives in Four, RailCats Down T-Bones 6-2
Garrett Copeland continues to swing a hot bat for the Gary Southshore RailCats. Copeland came out of the weekend 6-10 and, despite lowering his average with a paltry 2-4 night, drove in four in the RailCats 6-2 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones. Copeland staked his team to a lead in the top of the first when he hit his first home run of the season off Tommy Collier. The three run homer staked Gary Southshore to a 3-0 lead. The RailCats added a run in the third and then got two more in the fifth. The T-Bones would score single runs in the sixth and the seventh, but fell well short. Jeff McKenzie earned his first victory of the season, allowing 4-hits and a run in 6-innings of work. He struck out 4.
Winnipeg Extends Win Streak to Three
It took a couple of games for the Winnipeg Goldeyes to get on track, but they earned their third straight victory Tuesday night, downing the Texas AirHogs 5-3. The Goldeyes grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, but the AirHogs got them right back and more when Dillon Thomas clubbed his first homer in the bottom of the frame, a three run homer that put Texas up 3-2. The game stayed a one run Texas lead until the eighth when a balk tied the score and Andrew Sohn scored on an RBI single by Reynaldo Rodriguez. The Goldeyes added an insurance run in the ninth on a solo homer by Grant Heyman, and Victor Capellan came on in the ninth for his third straight save. The loss ruined a 4-5 night by the AirHogs Casio Grider.
Explorers Ride 6-Run First to 8-2 Victory
The Sioux City Explorers continue to put up runs, scoring six in the first on their way to an 8-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. Pitcher Patrick Schuster, forced into duty due to injuries, started the game in left and led off with a single. Michael Lang and Jay Austin followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. A single by Nate Samson gave Sioux City the lead before Nelson Ward made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. RBI singles by Jay Baum and Daniel Jackson made it 4-0 and Dexture McCall closed off the inning with a two-run double. That was far more than enough support for Luis Mateo (1-0), who gave up 6-hits and a run in 5-innings of work for his first win of the season. The Explorers starter struck out 5, and the Sioux City bullpen tossed four innings of no-hit, one-walk relief.
Angel Reyes Completes Dramatic Comeback, Saltdogs Win 11-10
The Lincoln Saltdogs found themselves trailing 10-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth, then mounted the comeback of the season to down the Wichita Wingnuts 11-10. The Saltdogs entered the ninth inning trailing by five. Nathaniel Maggio drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Brandon Jacobs singled to score another. That brought Angel Reyes to the plate, who crushed a three-run walk-off homer to give Lincoln the victory. Reyes drove in four and Lincoln hit three home runs in the contest. The Saltdogs bullpen was outstanding, tossing 5.1 no-hit innings to help provide the opportunity for the comeback.
Vinny Nittoli Cages Dogs in 5-1 Saints Victory
Vinny Nittoli made the first start of his professional career one to remember, blanking the Chicago Dogs over six innings, while striking out 10 in the St. Paul Saints 5-1 victory. Nittoli dominated this contest, allowing only first and fourth inning singles, as the Dogs simply had no answers for the right-hander. The Saints offense gave their starter all the support he needed with three runs in the third and two in the fifth. Max Murphy drove in two in the third with a triple and he later scored on a double by Brady Shoemaker. In the fifth, Noah Perio, Jr. delivered a clutch two-out hit that scored two to make it 5-0.
American Association Daily Notes
Sioux City Explorers infielder Nelson Ward was hurt during Tuesday night’s contest against the Sioux Falls Canaries and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. The severity of the injury is not known…The RedHawks signed RHP Pete Perez and place RHP Benji Waite on the DL. Perez pitched for Florence (Frontier League) in 2017 where he was 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 23 appearances. He had 12 saves…the Kansas City T-Bones announced that OF Adam Brett Walker had his contract purchased by the Washington Nationals, the second Kansas City player to have his contract purchased by an affiliate since opening day. They also signed RHP Barrett Astin. Astin pitched for the Cincinnati Reds last season, and started out 2018 in AAA-Louisville before being released…The Texas AirHogs signed RHP Cal Drummond. Drummond split time between the T-Bones and the AirHogs last season, posting a 7-4 record with a 5.27 ERA.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA