The Cleburne Railroaders turned the first triple play in franchise history and got five scoreless innings from the bullpen to fend off the Sioux Falls Canaries for a 4-1 win Saturday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
With runners at second and third and nobody out in the fourth, Canaries left-fielder Jordan Ebert hit a line drive to Nick Rotola in left that was caught for the first out. The runner at second, Mike Hart, did not tag up and was thrown out at second for out No. 2. Alay Lago, the runner at third, attempted to tag up and score but was deemed to have left the base early and was called out. The play went 7-5-4-6 to help Cleburne starter Nefi Ogando escape the inning with no damage.
Most of the scoring came in the first inning, when Sioux Falls (1-2) took a 1-0 lead on Clint Coulter's RBI single. But the Railroaders responded quickly with two runs in the bottom of the inning on run-scoring singles from Levi Scott and Hunter Clanin.
The scoring dried up for the next seven innings, but Cleburne scratched across two big insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Zach Nehrir smacked an RBI triple to plate Rotola, then came in to score himself on a sacrifice fly from Chase Simpson for a 4-1 lead.
Tyler Wilson picked up the save for Cleburne by recording the game's final six outs, including a bizarre sequence in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, two outs, and a full count, Canaries shortstop Andrew Ely attempted to bunt, but bunted foul for an inning-ending strikeout.
Braden Pearson (1-0) picked up the win for Cleburne with an inning and a third of scoreless relief.
The Railroaders and Canaries will conclude their four-game season-opening series at 6:05 p.m. Sunday, with left-hander Michael Gunn getting the start for Cleburne.