Railroaders Fall Short in Series Opener
CLEBURNE, Texas - Patrick Young allowed just two runs over six innings, but the Railroaders fell to the Sioux City Explorers, 3-2, in the Mercy Field home opener on Friday night.
Young gave up two runs in the first inning, but allowed just one hit over his next five. Sioux City (7-1) took the lead on a Nate Samson RBI double followed up by a Jay Austin sacrifice fly.
Cleburne (4-3) went down in order in each of the first three innings, but after stranding a pair of baserunners in the fourth, Axel Johnson drove in Cam Monger with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and K.C. Huth scored Michael Pair with an infield single.
Michael Gunn came on to pitch the seventh and walked one with a pair of strikeouts, and after Cleburne stranded two runners in the seventh and one in the eighth, a Jay Baum RBI single - his league-leading 12th of the season - gave the Explorers a lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Cleburne loaded the bases after Geoff Broussard issued a pair of one-out walks and then hit K.C. Huth with two outs, but Ryan Flores inherited the runners and got Alex Polston to fly out to right.
Cleburne stranded nine runners and six across the final three innings, while the run Shawn Blackwell surrendered was only the fifth run allowed by the bullpen over 27.0 innings of work.
Huth went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Alex Polston added two hits. Michael Pair doubled for the second consecutive game, and Pair, along with Cam Monger, walked twice.
The Railroaders now have a chance to even the series Saturday night. RHP Roman Gomez will make his first start for Cleburne, and RHP Justin Vernia will throw for the Explorers. First pitch time is set for 7:05, and pregame coverage on TuneIn Radio will begin at 6:45.
The Railroaders return home Saturday, June 1 for a three-game series with the St. Paul Saints. Tickets are always available at www.railroaderbaseball.com or by calling (817) 945-8705.
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