Railroaders Rally in Sixth to Down Explorers, 4-3
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (June 26, 2021) – After a harrowing 24-hour journey to get to Sioux City, the Cleburne Railroaders rallied from an early deficit to knock off the league-leading Explorers 4-3 on Saturday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
Jheyson Manzueta (1-0) put together an excellent second start, allowing just two earned runs over six innings to earn the victory. The right-hander allowed four hits and struck out eight, including two in a row with the potential tying run in scoring position to end the sixth.
Cleburne (17-18) seized a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With runners on the corners, John Nester rapped a grounder to third that ricocheted off Explorers third baseman Chris Clare, scoring Zach Nehrir from third with the game’s first run.
Sioux City (23-12) answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run from Lane Milligan to straightaway centerfield.
The Explorers added a run in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring single from LT Tolbert, pushing the lead out to 3-1.
The Railroaders rallied in the top of the sixth. Alay Lago got the scoring started with a long solo home run to left center, trimming the deficit to 3-2. After a Ramon Hernandez single, Chase Simpson slapped a double to center that tied the game at 3-3. After a fly out moved Simpson to third, Hunter Clanin delivered a go-ahead single on a looping liner into left field.
Leading 4-3, Cleburne turned it over to the bullpen for the final three innings. Nataniel Rodriguez escaped the biggest jam of the night in the seventh; with runners at first and second with one out, Nate Samson lined a shot to the gap in right-center that Clanin ran down and fired back to second for an inning-ending double play.
Rodriguez and Michael Krauza got through the eighth with no damage done, then Kyle Chavez pitched around a two-out single in the ninth to record his third save.
Brett Adcock (1-4) took the loss for Sioux City, allowing seven hits and four runs over six innings.
Nehrir and Clanin both finished 3-for-4, leading the way offensively for Cleburne.
The Railroaders and Explorers conclude the series on Sunday afternoon at 4:05 PM. Left-hander Austin Fairchild (1-3, 4.74) starts for Cleburne, while Sioux City counters with right-hander Zach Hedges (4-1, 4.19).
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