Pichi Balet Leads Cleburne Railroaders Onslaught in 14-5 Victory
A night after being blanked by the Salina Stockade, the Cleburne Railroaders left no doubt about this one, scoring 12-runs through the first three frames on their way to a 14-5 victory. Pichi Balet scored 3-runs and drove in 4, and KC Huth also drove in 4 as the Railroaders drew 8-walks and rapped out 12-hits.
The Stockade grabbed the lead in the top of the first. With two down, Kewby Meyer lined a solo shot over the right field wall for his third homer of the year. That made it 1-0.
The Railroaders responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning. Maikol Gonzalez singled to start the inning and moved to second when Mitch Glasser drew a walk. The two runners moved up on a double steal and Gonzalez came home on a sacrifice fly by Nick Van Stratten. Geraldo Valentin walked to put two on and Pichi Balet doubled to score Glasser. Axel Johnson walked to load the bases before Blake Grant-Parks drew the fourth walk of the frame, this time driving home Valentin. KC Hurth followed with a single that scored both Balet and Johnson and it was 5-1.
In the bottom of the second, Cleburne extended their lead to eight. Glasser walked with one down and moved to third on a base hit by Van Stratten. Valentin grounded out, but Glasser scored on the play with Van Stratten moving to second. That brought Balet to the plate, who lined a single into right-center that scored Van Stratten to make it 7-1. After a walk to Johnson and Grant-Parks was hit by a pitch, Huth singled to score two more runs and it was 9-1.
In the third, the onslaught continued. Gonzalez singled to begin the inning. Glasser replaced him at first on a fielder’s choice before Van Stratten walked. Valentin grounded out to move both runners into scoring position before Balet singled to score both Glasser and Van Stratten. A double by Johnson brought Balet home to make the score 12-1.
In the fourth the Cleburne Railroaders plated their final two runs of the game. Alex Polston singled with one out and scored when Gonzalez hit his second home run of the season to make it 14-1.
In the fifth, the Stockade would get one-run back. Jesse Baker, who had three-hits in the game, doubled to start the inning. Aaron Olivas walked before Roche Woodard hit into a fielder’s choice that put runners at the corners with one down. Two batters later, Meyer singled to bring home Baker to make it 14-2.
In the sixth, the Stockade added three more runs. Jimmy Heck and Matt Haskins drew walks to start the inning. That brought Baker to the plate, who crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run homer, his sixth of the season. That would make it 14-5, which would be the final.
Dylan Mouzakes (5-5) earned the win. Pichi Balet was 3-5 with 3-runs scored and 4-RBI. KC Huth was 2-4 with 4-RBI. Maikol Gonzalez finished 3-5 with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Jesse Baker led the Salina Stockade, going 3-3 with 2-runs and 3-RBI.
By Robert Pannier