Record Setting Performance Aids Railroaders Victory
CLEBURNE, Tex. (July 13, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders set a new franchise record with three triples, including three-baggers from back-to-back hitters in the sixth inning, rallying for a 7-3 win over the Kane County Cougars on Tuesday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
The Railroaders (28-21) found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, and Kane County starter Jack Fox (1-3) had retired 15 of the last 16 Cleburne hitters. Shortstop Ozzie Martinez slammed a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to start the inning, his third home run of the season, trimming the Kane County lead to 3-2. Alay Lago then followed with a line drive to the gap in right-center field for extra bases. When Lago attempted to stretch the hit into a triple, Cougars second baseman Josh Allen skipped the relay throw into the Cleburne dugout, allowing Lago to score and tying the game 3-3.
Ramon Hernandez followed with a triple of his own, then Zach Nehrir beat out a hustle double to give Cleburne a 4-3 lead.
The combination of Michael Krauza, Edward Cruz and Brendan Bell took the Railroaders the rest of the way, each working a scoreless inning. Krauza stranded the bases loaded in the seventh with a strikeout, and Cruz left two Cougars aboard in the eighth. Bell allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but then got a strikeout and a double play to end it.
The Railroaders offense added extra insurance in the bottom of the eighth. Nehrir hit a sacrifice fly, then John Nester roped a two-out RBI single and came in to score himself with Hunter Clanin followed with an RBI triple to set the new franchise mark.
Jheyson Manzueta (3-1) earned the win with another quality start, allowing three runs over six innings of work. He struck out exactly eight hitters for the fourth time in five Cleburne appearances.
All of the scoring for Kane County (25-26) came courtesy of the long ball, as Mark Karaviotis connected for a solo homer in the fourth and Josh Allen and Kacy Clemens added solo shots of their own in the fifth.
Lago finished 3-for-4 on the night to lead the way for Cleburne, his third consecutive three-hit game against the Cougars.
The Railroaders and Cougars continue the series on Wednesday night at 7:06 PM. Left-hander Michael Gunn (2-3, 4.82) gets the start for Cleburne, while Kane County counters with righty Tyler Viza (2-0, 2.72).
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