Ermindo Escobar Delivers Walk-Off Single in 11th, Railroaders Win 2-1
The Cleburne Railroaders have been struggling lately, losers of four of their last five, but they got back in the win column Wednesday night thanks to an RBI single by Ermindo Escobar in the bottom of the 11th that gave the Railroaders the 2-1 victory over the Salina Stockade. Alberto Rodriguez pitched seven outstanding innings, despite getting the no-decision, and Maikol Gonzalez had a hit and walked twice for Cleburne.
This was an incredible pitchers’ duel from the start. Troy Mannebach started for Salina and lived a little dangerously at times, walking four through the first three innings, but he did not allow any hits until the fourth, ensuring that Cleburne was unable to get any kind of rally going.
Alberto Rodriguez was pitching just as well. He retired the minimum in four of the first five innings, and only found himself in trouble in one inning, the second, when he gave up a single and a walk to start the frame, but induced a double-play. He then gave up a walk to put two on with two-out, but got Jordan Caillouet to fly out to end the threat.
In the sixth, both teams would finally breakthrough. In the top half of the inning, Logan Trowbridge was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second on a base hit by Aaron Olivas. A fly out moved Trowbridge to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Kewby Meyer. Rodriguez would load the bases, but would get out of it when he struck out Cody Coffman to end the threat.
The Railroaders responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. KC Huth started the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice. That brought the red-hot Axel Johnson to the plate, who doubled to center to score Huth and tie the game at one.
From there it was a great battle of bullpens. Dillon Sunnafrank and Tom Fazzini each tossed two scoreless innings of relief for Salina. Carlos Misell gave Cleburne 1.2-innings and Winston Abreu 1.1-innings of scoreless ball. Cortland Cox kept the Stockade off the board in the 11th to send it to the bottom half of the inning.
Chris Cummins came on for Salina and gave up a base hit to Geraldo Valentin to start the frame. Dylan Mouzakes pinch-ran and stole second before Oscar Mesa struck out. Blake Grant-Parks was intentionally walked, bringing Ermindo Escobar to the plate. He lined a single into center, scoring Mouzakes to give the Cleburne Railroaders the victory. Cox earned the win (2-2).
By Robert Pannier