Salina Stockade Rally to Win Second Straight, 8-7
The Salina Stockade entered the American Association season expecting to be the sacrificial cow after being added just three weeks before the season began, and it looked like that is exactly what they would be 37-games into the season. However, the cow is proving to have a little bite now, winning their second straight game over the Cleburne Railroaders, 8-7. Jimmy Heck and Cody Coffman each drove in 2-runs to lead the way as the Stockade rallied with a run in each of the final three innings for the victory.
The Salina Stockade took the lead in the top of the first. With one down, Troy Paris drilled his first home run of the season to put the Stockade on top. Kewby Meyer followed by drawing a walk and he moved to second on a wild pitch before Jimmy Heck walked. Daniel Aldrich moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, and Cody Coffman followed by lining a double into center that scored both runs.
In the second, Salina extended their lead to four. Roche Woodard led off the inning by drilling a ball to the wall in right and legging it out for a triple. Next up was Logan Trowbridge, who grounded out, but Woodard scored to make it 4-0.
The Cleburne Railroaders responded with two-runs in the bottom of the second. Fernelys Sanchez led off the inning by hitting his first home run of the season. That cut the deficit to three. Shawn Zarraga followed by drawing a walk and, two batters later, James Land walked to put two on with one out. Josh Hodges struck out K.C. Huth, his second strikeout of the inning, but he could not get that elusive third out before another run scored, giving up a single to Maikol Gonzalez that brought home Zarraga to make it a two-run game.
It would stay that way until the fourth, when Salina extended their lead to three. Coffman walked to start the inning and moved to second on a base hit by Jesse Baker. Roche Woodard then attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but Harrison Lee misplayed the bunt for an error and the bases were loaded with no one out. This was a chance for the Stockade to blow the game open, but Lee made a great pitch to induce a double-play, with Coffman scoring on the play, before getting Aaron Olivas to fly out to end the threat.
Salina looked to have a commanding lead, but the Cleburne Railroaders would respond with four-runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. Brad Tierney led off with a walk before Land struck out. Huth singled to center and Gonzalez brought Tierney home with a base hit. After both runners moved up on a double steal, Mitch Glasser delivered a two-out single that scored both runners and the game was tied. He then stole second and moved to third on the overthrow before Axel Johnson gave Cleburne the lead with a base hit up the middle. That made it 6-5 Railroaders.
Neither team was able to score a run over the next two innings but, in the seventh, Salina tied the score. Aaron Olivas singled with one out and moved to second on a base hit by Paris. Cortland Cox struck out Meyer, but Heck tied the score with a base hit.
In the top of the eighth, the Salina Stockade retook the lead. Coffman walked to start the inning, but it looked like he would go no further when Cox struck out Baker before getting Baker to pop out. With two down and a runner on first, Trowbridge took the first pitch he saw and drilled it to the wall in left-center. Coffman came all the way around to score to make it 7-6.
In the ninth, Salina added an insurance run that proved to be the difference in the game. Paris reached on an error to start the inning and he moved to second on a sacrifice. Heck singled to move Paris to third and he scored on a base hit by Aldrich to make it 8-6.
In the bottom of the inning, Cleburne got back within a run when Zarraga drilled his third home run of the season with one down. However, Tyler Herr retired the final two batters of the game for his first save of the season.
Cody Coffman was 1-3, with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Jimmy Heck was 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI. Troy Paris was 2-3 with 2-runs, 2-RBI, and a walk. Mitch Glasser led the Cleburne offense, going 3-4 with a run and 2-RBI.
By Robert Pannier