The Railroaders received a career outing from Patrick Mincey while Maikol Gonzalez hit a three-run home run early to fuel an 8-1 series-clinching victory over Salina on Thursday night at The Depot.
The Railroaders (16-12) took three of four from the Stockade (2-25). Cleburne opens a three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries at 7:06 p.m. tonight. The Railroaders and Canaries will do battle at 7:06 p.m. Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday.
In Thursday’s victory, Mincey gave up just one run on seven hits with four strikeouts on 106 pitches. The complete game was Cleburne’s second of the year, but first in a scheduled nine-inning game.
Gonzalez’s home run — his first of the year — came with nobody out in the first inning as the Railroaders plated four runs in the opening frame.
Cleburne added three more runs in the second inning as Gonzalez drove in another run with a single. Ermindo Escobar and Shawn Zarraga also chipped in with a pair of RBI groundouts, and the Railroaders added another run in the fifth after a two-out rally culminated in a bases-loaded walk to Mitch Glasser.
After being held to only three base hits in a 7-0 loss to Salina on Tuesday, the Railroaders bounced back with 17 combined runs on 24 hits to win the final two games and avoid a discouraging split with the struggling Stockade.
In the third game of the series, the Cleburne Railroaders bounced back with a 9-4 win over the Stockade on Wednesday coming off the 7-0 loss.
In Wednesday’s win, the Railroaders used a four-run third inning to take a 5-2 lead. After the Stockade plated two runs in the top of the fifth to make it a one-run game, the Railroaders scored three in the home half for an 8-4 advantage.
A Valentin three-run home run highlighted Cleburne’s four-run third inning output. In the fifth inning, K.C. Huth and Oscar Mesa each recorded RBIs.
A night after being shut out and only managing three base hits, the Railroaders pounded out 12 base hits, led by Brandon Tierney and Mesa.
Tierney went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Mesa went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Escobar went 2-for-5 and Valentin finished the night with four RBIs.
Alberto Rodriguez and Onas Farfan tossed four-plus innings of shutout ball as Rodriguez picked up the win with 3 2/3 innings with two hits allowed with three strikeouts. Harrison Lee started on the mound for the Railroaders and lasted 4 1/3 innings with five hits and four runs allowed with two strikeouts.