05/24/2019 11:13 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. (May 24, 2019) – After taking an early 5-0 lead and giving it all back, the Cleburne Railroaders scratched across a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning without a hit to topple the Lincoln Saltdogs 7-5 on Friday night at Haymarket Park.
It was all Cleburne early, as a solo home run from Kenny Meimerstorf and a two-run shot from Audie Afenir put the Railroaders (5-4) in front 3-0 after four innings of play. Nick Rotola added an RBI triple and Zach Nehrir followed with a run-scoring single to give Cleburne a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.
That’s when things began to unravel for Cleburne starter Michael Gunn, who allowed the first three Lincoln hitters to reach in the frame. A sacrifice fly and RBI single made it 5-2, then a Curt Smith ground ball bounced off the glove of Angel Rosa to plate another run. Gunn recovered to induce a 4-6-3 double play on the next pitch, ending his night after five innings.
Lincoln (4-4) completed the comeback with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, Nick Schulz drove home Smith with an infield single, then John Sansone smacked an RBI triple off Cleburne closer Tyler Wilson (1-0) that tied the game at 5-5.
The Railroaders responded thanks to some Lincoln charity in the top of the ninth. After a leadoff walk to Afenir, he was bunted to second by Logan Trowbridge. A wild pitch moved Afenir to third, then two more walks loaded the bases. Rotola beat out a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop to score one run, then an Austin Boyle wild pitch scored another to produce the game’s final margin.
Wilson came back out in the bottom of the ninth and struck out the side, working around two walks to nail down the victory.
Jake Hohensee (0-2) was tagged with the loss for Lincoln, recording just one out and allowing two runs.
The Railroaders and Saltdogs continue the series on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, with right-hander Charlie Gillies (0-1, 4.50) getting the start for Cleburne, opposed by righty John Brownell (1-0, 1.50) for the Saltdogs.
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.