Simpson Drives in Three to Lead Railroaders to Victory
CLEBURNE, Texas (Aug. 1, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders banged out 15 hits and used a pair of three-run innings to topple the Houston Apollos 9-5 on Sunday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
Chase Simpson led the way offensively for Cleburne, getting the scoring started with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second. Later in the inning, the Railroaders (38-28) executed a double steal, plating Hunter Clanin for a 3-0 lead.
Rookie Jalen Evans did not allow a baserunner for the first three innings in his first professional start, but ran into some trouble in the fourth on a pair of walks to start the inning. After a passed ball, Aaron Takacs drove home the first Houston run with a groundout to short.
Evans finished the night with four hitless innings and six strikeouts, allowing just the one unearned run.
Simpson delivered again for Cleburne in the bottom of the fifth, grounding an RBI single back through the middle to extend the Cleburne lead to 4-1.
Houston (9-58) made things interesting in the sixth, cashing in one run on an RBI single from Hudson Bilodeau and then loading the bases with two outs. Michael Krauza came out of the bullpen to strike out Yeiler Peguero on three pitches, ending the inning with Cleburne still in front 4-2.
Cleburne manufactured a run in the bottom of the sixth, as Colton Pogue led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI groundout from Noah Vaughan. Ramon Hernandez then made it 6-2 with a solo home run in the seventh, giving him 18 home runs and 74 RBI on the season, tied for the league lead.
A two-run homer from Bilodeau in the top of the eighth made it 6-4, but the Railroaders blew the game open in the bottom of the inning when Osvaldo Martinez lifted a deep sacrifice fly to right and Alay Lago followed with a two-run single for a 9-4 cushion.
Ian Yetsko homered in the top of the ninth for Houston to produce the final margin.
Brendan Bell (1-2) picked up his first professional win with 1.1 innings of relief, while Matt Cronin (2-6) was saddled with the loss for Houston.
Simpson, Lago, Hernandez and Clanin all finished the night with three hits for the Railroaders.
The Railroaders continue the homestand with their first Monday home game of the season against the Chicago Dogs. The three-game series begins with a 7:06 PM first pitch from The Depot.
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 Rail rotors