Hernandez Powers Railroaders to Victory with Walk-Off Homer
CLEBURNE, Tex. (June 2, 2021) – Ramon Hernandez delivered a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, propelling the Cleburne Railroaders to a 5-3 win over the Houston Apollos on Wednesday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
With the game tied 3-3 in the ninth, Zach Nehrir led off the inning by working a walk against Apollos reliever Ian Codina (0-1). Nehrir then stole second as Hernandez eventually worked the count to 3-1. He turned on the next offering from Codina, pulling it over the left field fence to give Cleburne (6-8) their first walk-off victory of the 2021 season.
The swing capped off a special evening for Hernandez, who homered twice and drove in all five Cleburne runs. He got the Railroaders on the board with an RBI single in the third, then connected for a two-run home run in the fifth that put Cleburne in front. Hernandez finished the night with 21 RBI, most in the American Association.
Houston (2-11) grabbed the first lead of the night in the third inning, as Jordan Pontious tripled to start the inning and came around to score on an RBI groundout from Ramon Villa. Hernandez’s swings put Cleburne in front 3-1 heading to the sixth, when Houston scratched across another run on an RBI single from Hudson Bilodeau to pull within 3-2.
The Apollos tied the game in the ninth inning. Blake Berry led off the inning with a double against Mason Melotakis, then came around to score when pinch-hitter Mike Annone singled back up the middle against closer Tyler Wilson (1-0). Wilson kept the game tied by retiring the next two, setting the stage for Hernandez’s heroics in the bottom of the ninth.
Maverik Buffo ended up with a no-decision, tossing six strong innings with eight strikeouts. The right-hander walked only one and allowed four hits.
The Railroaders and Apollos conclude the series on Thursday night at 7:06 PM. Right-hander Garrett Alexander (1-2, 6.75) gets the start for Cleburne, while the Apollos will counter with fellow righty Tucker Smith (0-0, 0.00).
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