Railroaders Take Advantage of Wingnuts Miscues, Win 4-3
With a few breaks going their way the Cleburne Railroaders could easily be 10-3 this season, but those breaks have not come their way so far. Thursday, fate smiled on them, as two Wichita Wingnuts errors led to three unearned runs, helping the Railroaders to victory, 4-3. Tyler Wilson earned the victory with three outstanding innings of relief, striking out eight.
The Cleburne Railroaders took the lead with two runs in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back singles by KC Huth and Cameron Monger started the contest. A flyball sent Huth to third and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. Levi Scott followed with a walk to put runners at the corners with one out. Patrick Palmeiro delivered a sacrifice fly to score Monger and the lead was two.
The Wingnuts would tie the score in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back singles by Isaiah Aluko and Leo Vargas got the inning underway. Logan Watkins then followed with an opposite field double down the line in left that easily scored Aluko to make this a one run game. A ground out by Ryne Willard brought home Vargas and the game was tied at two.
In the fifth, Wichita would take the lead. Aluko walked to start the inning and moved to second when Vargas followed with a single. Watkins walked to load the bases and there was still no one out. Cleburne brought their infield in, and Willard grounded to the shortstop who fired home to get the lead runner. With the bases still loaded, Abel Nieves hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Vargas to make it 3-2.
The Railroaders responded right away in the top of the sixth. Alex Polston beat out a ground ball for a base hit to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice. He would reach third on the ground out, but looked like he would be left stranded when Trevor Sealey grounded to third base. However, the ball was booted, allowing Polston to score and the game was tied three.
Two innings later, the Cleburne Railroaders would retake the lead. With James Campbell now on the hill, Blake Grant-Parks singled into right field with one out. The ball was misplayed by Aluko, allowing Grant-Parks to move to second. He reached third on a ground out and scored when Sealey beat out an infield single to give Cleburne the 4-3 lead.
Tyler Wilson (2-0) had come on in the sixth and he was absolutely brilliant. The right-hander was effectively wild, walking 4 in his 3-innings of work, but he struck out 8, including striking out the side in both the seventh and eighth. Shawn Blackwell came on in the ninth and retired the Wingnuts in order for his second save of the season.
Alex Polston finished 2-4 with a run scored for Cleburne. Leo Vargas was 2-4 with a run scored for Wichita.
The Wngnuts now travel north to take on the in-state rival Kansas City T-Bones starting on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier