Four-Run Second Propels Railroaders to Victory in Opener
CLEBURNE, Texas (July 2, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders scored four times in both the second and fifth innings, holding off a late surge to best the Sioux Falls Canaries 9-7 on Friday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
Trailing 1-0 into the bottom of the second, Cleburne (21-19) struck for four runs on four hits against Sioux Falls starter Tyler Garkow (1-4). John Nester plated the first run with an opposite-field single, then Hunter Clanin gave the Railroaders the lead with an RBI groundout. After a walk and a flyout, Osvaldo Martinez and Alay Lago slapped run-scoring singles to put Cleburne in front by the score of 4-1.
Sioux Falls (18-21) battled back with three runs of their own in the top of the fourth. Troy Alexander ripped a solo homer, then an RBI double from Angelo Altavilla and an RBI single from Wyatt Ulrich knotted the score at 4-4.
The Railroaders seized the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and the bases empty, Chase Simpson drew a walk and stole second, his first stolen base of the year. Zach Nehrir followed with an RBI single, giving Cleburne a 5-4 lead. Nehrir swiped second and raced home on a run-scoring double from Nester, pushing the advantage to 6-4. Clanin came to the plate and skied a fly ball to deep center that Ulrich lost in the sky, landing behind him and allowing Clanin to circle the bases with an inside-the-park home run. It was the third inside-the-parker in franchise history, joining Angelo Gumbs and Michael Gulino from the 2018 season.
Simpson added Cleburne’s final run of the night with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
The scoring barrage earned a win for Cleburne starter Jesus Sanchez (1-0), who tossed five innings with three strikeouts and no walks, allowing eight hits and four runs.
Things got interesting in the top of the eighth as Sioux Falls scored three times on an RBI groundout from Altavilla and a two-out, two-run single from Ulrich. Kyle Chavez got Jabari Henry to pop out, stranding the bases loaded.
Tyler Wilson then tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning to record his fourth save of the year.
The Railroaders and Canaries continue the series on Saturday night. First pitch of game two 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, Cleburne Railroaders