Martinez, Homers Lead Railroaders to Victory
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Aug. 12, 2021) – Tyler Wilson stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Cleburne Railroaders escaped Sioux Falls with an 8-7 win over the Canaries on Thursday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Sioux Falls (28-49) entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 8-6, but started the inning with a single and three consecutive walks to pull within 8-7 with the bases loaded and nobody out. Wilson struck out Mike Hart for the first out, then got Jabari Henry to pop out to third for the second out. That brought up Zane Gurwitz, who was 4-for-4 on the night with two home runs. Wilson threw three straight fastballs by Gurwitz to end the game, securing his sixth save.
The tense bottom of the ninth capped off a wild game that featured nine combined home runs, including a franchise-record five from Cleburne (41-35). Osvaldo Martinez got the scoring started with a solo home run in the top of the first, then Chase Simpson and Noah Vaughan went back-to-back in the top of the second for a 3-0 advantage.
The Canaries answered with back-to-back home runs of their own in the bottom of the second from Jabari Henry and Gurwitz, trimming the lead to 3-2. Angelo Altavilla tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a fielder’s choice grounder.
John Nester put the Railroaders back in front in the top of the fifth with a solo home run, and two batters later Martinez rammed a two-run homer to stretch the lead to 6-3.
Cleburne manufactured a pair of runs in the sixth. Simpson scored from second on a grounder to second, racing around to score when Sioux Falls first baseman Trey Michalczewski fell over upon receiving the throw. After a pair of two-out singles from Hunter Clanin and Nester, Cleburne executed a double steal to grab another run for an 8-3 lead.
Gurtwitz cracked his second homer of the game in the sixth, and Cade Gotta made it 8-6 with a line drive two-run homer in the seventh.
Jalen Evans (1-1) picked up his first professional win, going 5.1 innings with five strikeouts. Daniel James impressed in relief, striking out four over 1.1 scoreless innings.
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