Smith, Apollos Blank Railroaders
CLEBURNE, Texas (July 31, 2021) – Tucker Smith fired seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts and two Houston relievers did the rest, as the Houston Apollos blanked the Cleburne Railroaders 6-0 on Saturday night at The Depot.
Smith (2-5) put together his third strong start of the season against Cleburne, allowing just seven hits and no walks over the course of his seven innings of work. The Railroaders best chance to strike against him came in the third inning, but two Cleburne runners were thrown out at the plate and the Railroaders failed to produce multiple baserunners in an inning the rest of the way.
Houston (9-57) got on the board in the top of the second when Aaron Takacs doubled leading off the frame against Cleburne starter Michael Gunn (4-4), and then came in to score on a ground-rule double from Taylor Zeutenhorst. Takacs then provided the game’s big swing in the following inning, lashing a three-run home run over the wall in left for a 4-0 Apollos lead.
Houston tacked on two more runs in the seventh on an RBI single from Jordan Pontious and a sacrifice fly from Blake Berry.
Cleburne (37-28) got some good work from the bullpen, as Taylor Wright, Brendan Bell and Joseph Camacho allowed only one baserunner over 2.2 scoreless innings of work. The Houston bullpen proved just as stingy, however, as Ian Codina tossed a zero in the bottom of the eighth and Keisy Portorreal set the side down in order in the ninth to secure the win.
The Railroaders and Apollos conclude the series on Sunday night at 6:00 PM. Right-hander Jalen Evans (0-0, 0.00) makes his first professional start for Cleburne, while Houston counters with righty Matt Cronin (2-5, 5.90).
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.