Railroaders Complete Sweep of RailCats with Ninth Inning Run
GARY, Ind. (July 22, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders scratched across a run in the top of the ninth to break a 5-5 tie, knocking off the Gary SouthShore RailCats 6-5 on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Steel Yard.
The victory secured a sweep of the RailCats for the first time in Cleburne franchise history.
In the top of the ninth, Colton Pogue led off the inning with an incredible at-bat. He fouled off eight two-strike pitches from RailCats reliver Nick Garcia (1-3), eventually working the count to three balls and two strikes. On the 14th pitch of the sequence, Pogue slapped a double into the right-field corner, putting the go-ahead run at second base with nobody out. Osvaldo Martinez laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Pogue to third, setting the stage for Alay Lago. On an 0-1 pitch, Lago hit a slow roller in front of the plate, allowing Pogue to dash home from third with the go-ahead run when Gary catcher Jackson Smith went out to field the ball.
Edward Cruz then worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to nail down his fourth save. Cruz’s performance capped off a stellar afternoon from the Cleburne bullpen, which got 4.2 innings of scoreless relief from Brendan Bell, Joseph Camacho and Cruz. Camacho (1-0) ultimately picked up the win, working two scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth with two strikeouts.
Cleburne (34-23) once again sprinted to a quick early lead, as Martinez led off the game with a solo home run for the second straight day. The Railroaders scored three more in the fourth inning for a 4-1 advantage, as Noah Vaughan tripled home two runs and then scored himself on an RBI single from John Nester. Ramon Hernandez made it 5-1 in the fifth with a long solo homer to left.
Vaughan’s triple set a new single-season franchise record with his seventh three-bagger of the year, surpassing the mark set by Nick Rotola in 2019.
Gary SouthShore (23-36) battled back in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring four times on three singles thanks to a trio of Cleburne walks. Jose Mercado tied the game at 5-5 with a two-out RBI single.
The game remained tied thanks to good work from both bullpens before Cleburne surged in front in the ninth.
Both starters ended with no-decisions, as Cleburne’s Garrett Alexander allowed five runs over 4.1 innings and the RailCats Josh Vincent was tagged for five runs in five innings.
The Railroaders now make the short trip to Rosemont for a three-game series against the Chicago Dogs beginning on Friday night at 7:05 PM. Cleburne is expected to start left-hander Kody Bullard (1-0, 0.00), while the Dogs will turn to right-hander A.J. Jones (3-1, 4.67).
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