Johnson Gem, Six Run First Power Railroaders, 10-1
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (Aug. 10, 2019) – Stephen Johnson did not allow a hit until two outs in the bottom of the sixth, firing seven excellent innings as the Cleburne Railroaders cruised to a 10-1 win over the Sioux City Explorers on Saturday night at Lewis and Clark Park. The victory locked down Cleburne’s first ever series win at Sioux City, and matched the franchise record for wins in a season at 47.
Cleburne (47-31) gave Johnson all the run support he would need with a six-run top of the first inning. Zach Nehrir doubled home a run to get it started, then John Nester ripped a sacrifice fly to double the lead. With two outs and runners at the corners, Grant Buck smacked a single up the middle that was overrun by Sioux City centerfielder Kyle Wren. The misplay allowed two runs to score, pushing the lead to 4-0.
After a walk to Nick Rotola, Logan Trowbridge put the finishing touches on the inning with a two-run, opposite field double that made it 6-0 Railroaders.
Johnson (7-1) was electric for a second straight start, facing the minimum through five complete innings thanks to a pair of double plays. He allowed back-to-back hits in the sixth to push across Sioux City’s lone run, but finished his outing strong by retiring the Explorers (44-34) in order in the seventh. The righty struck out three while walking just one.
The ‘Roaders offense continued to add on throughout the night. Nehrir cranked a solo homer in the top of the fourth that made it 7-0, then an Angel Reyes RBI single in the sixth extended the lead to 8-0.
Rotola answered Sioux City’s run with an RBI double in the top of the seventh, before Buck plated the final tally of the night on a ninth inning run-scoring grounder.
Edward Cruz and Bryan Saucedo each tossed a scoreless inning in relief to secure the win.
Eric Karch (4-5) took the loss for Sioux City, allowing a season-high eight earned runs on 12 hits over 5.2 innings. He threw 120 pitches on the night, the most by any opposing pitcher against the Railroaders this season.
The Railroaders and Explorers conclude their series on Sunday at 4:02 PM. Jesus Sanchez (8-2, 2.88) starts for Cleburne, while Sioux City will counter with right-hander Taylor Jordan (4-9, 4.65).
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
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