Nehrir Walk-Off Hit Completes Railroaders Ninth Inning Comeback
CLEBURNE, Tex. (July 14, 2021) – Zach Nehrir hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, as the Cleburne Railroaders scored three runs in the final frame to stun the Kane County Cougars 8-7 on Wednesday night at The Depot. It’s the fourth walk-off win of the season for Cleburne, and secures an eighth consecutive series win.
The Railroaders (29-21) trailed 7-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth. After a strikeout started the inning, Colton Pogue drew a one-out walk. Noah Vaughan followed with a ground ball through the right side, hustling into second to put runners at second and third. Osvaldo Martinez followed by working a walk of his own, loading the bases. Alay Lago then slammed a hard ground ball off the ankle of Kane County closer Mark Seyler (2-4), ricocheting off to the third base side for an infield single that scored Pogue and trimmed the lead to 7-6.
Seyler was unable to continue, and the Cougars (25-27) turned to Andy McGuire for a matchup with Ramon Hernandez. On the first pitch, Hernandez lifted a sacrifice fly to right-center, scoring Vaughan with the tying run and moving Martinez to third. Nehrir rapped an 0-1 pitch on the ground to deep shortstop, and the throw from a diving Nick Santoro was wide of second base, allowing Martinez to score the winning run.
The comeback capped a wild game in which Cleburne initially led 5-1. A two-run homer from Hunter Clanin got the scoring started in the second inning, then Nehrir ripped a solo shot in the fourth to answer a solo home run from Anfernee Seymour, pushing the lead back to 3-1.
Lago lined an RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth and scored on a run-scoring single from Hernandez that put Cleburne in front 5-1.
Kane County mounted a rally in the top of the sixth. Gavin LaValley lined a two-run single and Mark Karaviotis delivered a sacrifice fly to pull the Cougars within 5-4.
In the eighth, Kacy Clemens skied a two-out, two-run homer to put Kane County in front 6-5. The Cougars got an unearned run in the top of the ninth on a fielder’s choice grounder from Seymour.
Tyler Wilson (2-0) earned the win for the Railroaders, striking out the side in the top of the ninth. Michael Gunn ended with a no-decision in a solid start, allowing four runs on just four hits over six innings.
The Railroaders and Cougars conclude the series on Thursday night at 7:06 PM. Left-hander Austin Fairchild (3-3, 4.20) gets the start for Cleburne, while Kane County counters with righty Ben Allison (2-1, 5.85).
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