Mariot Shuts Down Saltdogs, Railroaders Victorious, 4-1
LINCOLN, Neb. (May 25, 2021) – Michael Mariot carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and a pair of late home runs helped the Cleburne Railroaders to a 4-1 win over the Lincoln Saltdogs on Tuesday night at Haymarket Park.
Mariot (1-0) allowed only three baserunners on the night, hitting a batter in both the second and third innings but holding the Saltdogs without a base hit until the bottom of the seventh. With the Railroaders leading 2-0, Mariot surrendered a one-out solo home run to Josh Altmann, but then retired the next two hitters to preserve the lead. The former major leaguer finished with seven innings of work and five strikeouts on the evening. He went to just one three-ball count, the final batter he faced in the seventh.
The 6.1 innings without allowing a hit is a new franchise record for the longest no-hit bid to start a game. Michael Gunn went 6.0 innings without allowing a hit vs. the Texas AirHogs on August 24 of 2019.
The game was scoreless into the top of the seventh, as Lincoln starter Kyle Kinman matched Mariot pitch for pitch. But the Railroaders did damage against the Saltdogs bullpen, as John Nester cracked a two-out solo homer in the seventh to give Cleburne a 1-0 lead. After a walk and a stolen base, Ozzie Martinez followed with a run-scoring single that doubled the advantage.
In the eighth, Grant Buck delivered a big two-out swing of his own. Facing lefty Greg Minier, Buck drove a two-run home run to the opposite field that stretched the Cleburne lead to 4-1.
The Railroaders bullpen slammed the door to close out the victory, getting a scoreless eighth from Mason Melotakis and a zero in the ninth from Tyler Wilson. Wilson picked up his third save, pitching around a two-out single.
Jake Hohensee (1-1) took the loss for Lincoln, allowing two runs in his one inning of work.
The two hits allowed matched a franchise record for the fewest hits surrendered in a single game.
The Railroaders and Saltdogs continue the series on Wednesday night at 7:05 PM. Lincoln starts right-hander Johnny Barbato (1-0, 1.80), while the Railroaders will counter with lefty Michael Gunn (0-1, 5.40).
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