Simpson Helps Stake Railroaders to Early Lead in 6-4 Victory
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (June 27, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders raced out to a 6-0 lead and hung on the rest of the way, downing the Sioux City Explorers 6-4 on Sunday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
The Railroaders (18-18) scored in each of the first three innings to open the scoring. Chase Simpson broke the seal with a three-run home run in the top of the first, then Osvaldo Martinez and Ramon Hernandez drove in runs in the second. John Nester capped the barrage with a two-out RBI single in the top of the third for a 6-0 lead.
Austin Fairchild (2-3) tossed 5.2 strong innings to preserve the lead, striking out six and walking three. He worked four scoreless innings to start his night, before a solo home run from Mitch Ghelfi got the Explorers (23-13) on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Sioux City then added two more in the sixth when Sebastian Zawada lined a two-out RBI single combined with a Cleburne error that brought home a pair of runs.
The margin was trimmed further in the bottom of the seventh. After a pair of singles and a walk, Nate Samson hit a bouncer down to third that Simpson couldn’t field cleanly, plating a run and trimming the Cleburne lead to 6-4. With the bases still loaded, Nataniel Rodriguez picked up a strikeout and a ground out to escape with the lead intact.
Edward Cruz danced around a pair of singles in the bottom of the eighth, and Kyle Chavez nailed down his fourth save with a scoreless ninth. A 5-4-3 double play erased a leadoff runner in the final frame, with Chavez inducing a fly out to right to end it.
Zach Hedges (4-2) took the loss for Sioux City, allowing nine hits and six runs over five innings. The Sioux City bullpen did not allow a hit over the final four innings, picking up seven strikeouts along the way.
The win secures a series victory for Cleburne and a winning road trip, as the Railroaders finish the swing with a 4-2 record.
After a travel day on Monday, Cleburne returns home Tuesday to open a three-game series with the Lincoln Saltdogs. First pitch of Tuesday’s series opener is scheduled for 7:06 PM.
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