Railroaders Bullpen Shuts Down Saltdogs in 4-2 Victory
CLEBURNE, Texas (June 30, 2021) – Behind some early offense and five shutout innings from the bullpen, the Cleburne Railroaders secured a series win with a 4-2 victory over the Lincoln Saltdogs on Wednesday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
Cleburne (20-18) raced out to a 4-0 lead through three innings. In the bottom of the second, Zach Nehrir led off the inning with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Hunter Clanin. After a single and a strikeout, Noah Vaughan crushed a long two-run home run to right field, pushing the advantage out to 3-0.
Nehrir made it 4-0 Railroaders in the bottom of the third with an RBI single. The Cleburne centerfielder finished the night 3-for-4, raising his season average to .367.
Lincoln (17-19) began to chip away in the top of the fourth. Four consecutive Saltdogs reached base to start the frame, highlighted by run-scoring singles from Josh Altmann and David Vidal that sliced the Cleburne lead in half. Railroaders starter Stephen Greenlees was able to escape the inning with the lead intact, but then allowed a pair of baserunners to start the fifth.
That’s where the Railroaders bullpen took over. Taylor Wright (1-2) entered and recorded two strikeouts before a lineout ended the inning. He then pitched around a pair of two-out baserunners in the sixth, handing the ball off to Nataniel Rodriguez, who surrendered two more baserunners but dodged the threat with help from a John Nester pickoff.
In the eighth, Edward Cruz struck out a pair of Lincoln hitters to strand a one-out single, and then Kyle Chavez nailed down his fifth save in the ninth, albeit with some drama. With a man at first base and two outs, Altmann cranked a drive to deep left field that struck high off the wall, staying in play for a double rather than a game-tying, two-run homer. Chavez then fanned Curt Smith on three pitches to secure the 4-2 win.
All told, Railroaders hurlers stranded eight Saltdogs on the evening, pitching around multiple baserunners in five of the final six innings.
John Richy (2-4) took the loss for Lincoln, allowing four runs on ten hits over five innings.
The Railroaders and Saltdogs conclude the series on Thursday night at 7:06 PM. Lincoln starts left-hander John Richy (2-1, 2.86), while Cleburne counters with right-hander Jheyson Manzueta (1-0, 2.25).
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 L Rivers