Simpson Walk-Off Walk Sends Railroaders Steaming Past Canaries
CLEBURNE, Texas (July 3, 2021) – Trailing 6-5 into the bottom of the ninth inning, Cleburne scored two runs on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and a walk-off walk to nip the Sioux Falls Canaries 7-6 on Saturday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
After a strikeout to start the bottom of the ninth, Noah Vaughan battled his way to an eight-pitch walk. Osvaldo Martinez followed with a line drive single to right, putting runners at first and second. Martinez and Vaughan stole second and third, respectively, on the first two pitches to Alay Lago, putting the winning runs in scoring position. Sioux Falls (18-22) elected to intentionally walk Lago, loading the bases for Ramon Hernandez. Robbie Gordon (1-1) hit Hernandez on the shoulder with a 1-0 pitch, forcing home the tying run.
Chase Simpson subsequently worked the count to 3-1, then took a fastball high from Gordon that plated Martinez with the winning run. It was the fourth walk-off victory of the season for the Railroaders (22-19).
It was Sioux Falls that put together the first late-inning rally of the night, scoring four runs in the top of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead. A pair of bases-loaded walks and an infield single from Shamoy Christopher helped the Birds comeback, but Cleburne managed to limit the damage thanks to an inning-ending double play induced by Taylor Wright.
The combination of Jackson Maynard and former Cleburne reliever D.J. Sharabi retired nine in a row out of the Canaries bullpen before the Railroaders struck in the bottom of the ninth against Gordon.
The Railroaders once again seized the early lead, scoring single runs in the second and third innings. Zach Nehrir cranked a solo home run in the second, then Simpson lined an RBI single to double the Cleburne lead in the third.
After Zane Gurwitz tied the game at 2-2 with a two-run homer in the top of the fourth, Cleburne surged in front with a three-run fifth. Lago doubled home Martinez, then raced to the plate on a Gurwitz fielding error. John Nester added an RBI double high off the left field fence to give Cleburne a 5-2 edge.
Austin Fairchild started for Cleburne and finished with a no-decision, allowing two runs over four innings. Michael Krauza tossed a pair of scoreless innings with four strikeouts, and Edward Cruz (1-0) picked up his first win of the year by keeping Sioux Falls at bay in the eighth and ninth.
The Railroaders and Canaries conclude the series on Sunday night. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 6:00 PM.
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