Johnson Stymies Saltdogs, Railroaders Complete Sweep, 11-2
CLEBURNE, Tex. (July 18, 2019) – The Cleburne Railroaders scored five runs apiece in the second and sixth innings, matching a season high with 16 hits for a comfortable 11-2 win over the Lincoln Saltdogs on Thursday night at The Depot. The victory secured Cleburne’s second three-game sweep of Lincoln at home this season.
For the second time in three nights, Lincoln (25-32) seized the early advantage on a second inning solo home run from Curt Smith. The Railroaders (33-24) responded promptly with another huge second inning, banging out five consecutive hits against Saltdogs starter Shairon Martis (2-5) to take the lead. Grant Buck doubled home John Nester to tie the game at 1-1, then Hunter Clanin cranked a mammoth two-run home run down the left field line. K.C. Huth smacked an RBI double and Daniel Robertson finished off the frame with a run-scoring single to give Cleburne a 5-1 lead.
That proved to be more than enough support for Railroaders starter Stephen Johnson (4-1), who put together his best performance in a Cleburne uniform. The big righty tossed a season-high six innings, striking out a season-high seven while allowing only four hits and one run.
After Chase Simpson drilled a solo homer in the fifth to push the advantage to 6-1, the Railroaders offense exploded again in the sixth. Zach Nehrir blasted another solo shot, then Nick Rotola tripled home a pair to make it 9-1. Huth doubled in Rotola and came in to score on an RBI groundout from Ryan Brett to complete the scoring for Cleburne.
Lincoln scratched across a run in the top of the ninth against Bryan Saucedo on a double play grounder from Ivan Marin.
The Railroaders welcome in the Milwaukee Milkmen for the first time to The Depot on Friday night. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:06 PM. Lefty Eudis Idrogo (4-3, 5.11) gets the ball for Cleburne, while Milwaukee is expected to counter with right-hander Kurt Heyer (3-6, 5.79).
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
Photo Credit: Justin Green