Patrick Mincey Keeps Railroaders on Track in 6-3 Victory
The Cleburne Railroaders rolled into St. Paul Friday night to begin a three-game series with the St. Paul Saints. This was a matchup of two of the best starters in the American Association as Patrick Mincey was matched against Mark Hamburger. The Railroaders starter proved to be the better man on this night, holding the Saints to two-runs in the Railroaders 6-3 victory. Geraldo Valentin had the big bat for Cleburne, driving in three.
After a scoreless first inning, each team would score two runs in the second. Hamburger retired the first batter of the inning, but Mitch Abeita singled before KC Huth doubled to put two into scoring position. Next up was Alex Polston. He lined a base hit up the middle that easily scored Abeita. Huth came home looking to score and barely beat the tag to make it 2-0.
In the bottom half of the inning Anthony Gallas singled with one down. Two batters later, Kes Carter blasted a deep shot over the wall in right-center to tie the score at 2. It was his 12th homer of the year.
The Railroaders responded in the top of the third to retake the lead. Nick Van Stratten singled to start the inning and was replaced on the base path on a fielder’s choice by Geraldo Valentin. A base hit by Pichi Balet moved Valentin to second and the bases became loaded when Axel Johnson reached on an error. That brought Abieta to the plate, who hit a fly ball to left. Valentin beat the throw home, but catcher Maxx Garrett alertly threw to second to nail Johnson trying to move up on the throw home for the double-play. Cleburne led 3-2.
Two innings later, the Cleburne Railroaders extended their lead to two. Mitch Glasser singled to start the inning and moved up on a wild pitch. A ground ball moved him to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Valentin to make it 4-2.
In the seventh, the Railroaders added two more, chasing Hamburger from the game. With one down, Glasser walked. Van Stratten laid down a perfect bunt, but the throw from Garrett pulled the first baseman off the bag to put runners at the corners. Valentin followed by drilling a ball down the left field line that brought both runners home to make it 6-2.
The Saints got one of those runs right back. Brady Shoemaker started out the frame with a double. He looked like he was going to stay there when Mincey retired the next two batters. Carter then drilled a deep fly to center that Huth caught in his glove before crashing into the wall. As he fell backward the ball popped out and Carter raced into third with the RBI triple. That made it 6-3.
Patrick Mincey (8-7) came out after 7. He allowed 6-hits and 3-earned runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out 6.
In the ninth, Cleburne brought in Winston Abreu looking to close it out. He retired the side in order, striking out the final two batters of the game for his 21st save of the season.
Mitch Glasser led the Cleburne offense, going 1-3 with 2-runs scord and 2-runs. Geraldo Valentin drove in 3 and KC Huth, Alex Polston, and Nick Van Stratten each had 2-hits. The St. Paul Saints were led by Kes Carter, who was 2-3 with a run and 3-RBI.
Game 2 of this three-game set is set for Saturday. The Railroaders will send Laetten Galbraith (1-1, 4.02). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier