GRAND PRAIRIE — The Cleburne Railroaders seemed to take all of their frustrations of the past six weeks out on the Texas AirHogs in a record-breaking 16-0 win Tuesday night at AirHogs Stadium.
Cleburne set numerous franchise records in the blowout win, including the largest margin of victory as well as tying the record of most runs scored in a single game.
Hunter Clanin, who was acquired Aug. 1 in a trade with Wichita, was a huge part of the record-setting outing as the left fielder drove in a franchise-record seven runs.
Four of Clanin’s seven RBIs on the night came with one swing of the bat as he recorded his first professional grand slam as part of a five-run eighth inning for the Railroaders. Clanin’s seven RBIs broke Derrick Pyles’ single-game RBI record of six.
Additionally, Cleburne’s Angel Rosa reached base six times to set a franchise record, and the Railroaders drew 11 walks for the first time in a game this year. Levi Scott became the first player in team history to walk four times in a game.
Clanin finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and the grand slam, and Rosa added a pair of doubles with three walks and a hit-by-pitch. Two of Scott’s four walks came with the bases loaded, giving him a team-leading 50 RBIs this season.
Cleburne opened the scoring with two runs in the first before taking early command of the game with a four-run second for an early 6-0 lead. The Railroaders tacked on one run in the third and two runs in the fourth and seventh innings before the cherry-on-the-top eighth inning.
Railroaders starter Jared Mortensen threw five scoreless innings, including three flawless innings to open the game, for his fourth win of the year. Reliever Jesus Sanchez retired nine consecutive batters across the sixth through eight innings, and John Hayes struck out the side to wrap things up.
Cleburne pitching held the AirHogs to only two base hits all night, a rare outing for the Railroaders where their starting pitching, relief pitching and offense all clicked at the same time.
The record-setting victory was a welcome outing for the Railroaders, who were still trying to forget a 13-game losing streak in late July that came at the tail end of a 4-23 stretch. Since then, Cleburne has gone 7-5 with series victories over Fargo-Moorhead and Winnipeg.
Blake Grant-Parks leads the Railroaders with a .312 batting average (in 42 games) while Rafael Palmeiro is second on the team with a .301 batting average (in 31 games). Behind Scott’s 50 RBIs, Patrick Palmeiro is second on the team with 40 RBIs.
Entering play Wednesday in game 2 against the AirHogs, the Railroaders had a 27-54 season record through 81 games. Center fielder K.C. Huth is the only Railroader to appear in all 81 games while Scott and Patrick Palmeiro have played in 79 games.
Game 3 of the Railroaders-AirHogs series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Thursday in Grand Prairie. Cleburne then heads to Kansas City for a three-game series before returning to The Depot for a pair of three-game sets against Texas and Lincoln.
The American Association regular season ends Sept. 3. Tickets are still available at www.railroaderbaseball.com or by calling 817-945-8705.