Kansas City Outslugs Cleburne, 10-8
CLEBURNE, Texas – In a game that was a battle of the bullpens and featured a combined 18 runs, the Kansas City T-Bones came back and were able to hold on to their lead as they defeated the Cleburne Railroaders, 10-8, in the first game of a three-game series.
The T-Bones sent righty Henry Owens (0-0) to the mound to make his 2019 Kansas City T-Bones debut after being signed earlier in the day.
Kansas City (10-13) jumped on Cleburne’s starter, Nefi Ogando (0-2) in the top of the third inning. A pair of back-to-back singles by Roy Morales and Ryan Brett came around to score when Ramsey Romano continued his tear at the plate and launched his third home run of the year. Romano’s three-run dinger was a no-doubter and put the T-Bones up, 3-0.
The T-Bones continued their offensive attack in the top of the fourth inning. Nava took a leadoff walk and after a Casey Gillaspie single, Kansas City had two on with nobody out. Roy Morales stepped up to the plated and roped a two-run double to give the T-Bones a 5-0 lead.
Owens labored to get through the bottom of the fourth inning, and the Railroaders (12-12) were quick to respond. After a walk to start the inning, John Nester launched a home run to decrease the T-Bones’ lead to three runs, 5-2.
After a pair of walks and a defensive error by the T-Bones, Cleburne had the bases loaded with nobody out. A wild pitch allowed one run to come home, and the other two runners were able to advance to second and third. An RBI-groundout by K.C. Huth brought another run home. With two outs, the Railroaders were able to tie the ballgame off of a suicide squeeze that the T-Bones misplayed.
The defensive miscues continued when the go-ahead run came around to score for Cleburne after there was some miscommunication in the outfield by Sweeney, Brett, and Mars and a ball dropped, Nick Rotola scored the sixth run of the inning for the Railroaders as they took a 6-5 lead.
Following the high-offensive numbers put up in the fourth inning, both teams went to their bullpens to try to keep the other at bay.
Following the Railroader’s six-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning, things looked bleak for the T-Bones, as they watched their 5-0 lead quickly turn into a 6-5 deficit. However, Kansas City responded loudly with a two-run inning in the top of the fifth.
Danny Mars led off the inning with a walk and advanced the second on a groundout. Mars proceeded to steal third and was about to score on a pitcher error. After Darnell Sweeney walked, he was able to advance on that same pitcher’s error and scored on a Daniel Nava putout to give the T-Bones a 7-6 lead.
Kansas City put up another crooked-scoring inning in the top of the sixth inning. Christian Correa led off the inning with a walk and a single by Brett gave the T-Bones two men on with no outs. Mars stepped up to the plate and drove in two runs in Ramsey Romano and Correa with a double to extend their lead to 9-6.
The T-Bones weren’t finished with the inning, after Dylan Tice got on with a walk, he and Mars converted a successful double steal and Mars was able to score when Sweeney lined a base hit to left to make it a 10-6 T-Bones lead.
Cleburne was able to get a pair of runs back in the bottom of the eighth inning after Robert Calvano came in to pitch in relief. After the Railroaders got runners on second and third with only one out, a pinch hit single up the middle by Kenny Meimerstorf scored both runners in Hunter Clanin and Grant Buck to make it a 10-8 ballgame.
The Railroaders made some noise in the bottom of the ninth when they got the tying run on base, but the Kansas City bullpen buckled down, giving the T-Bones the victory.
The T-Bones will play game two against the Railroaders on Wednesday, June 12, at 7:05 p.m.
By Sophie Darting