Photo Credit: Ron Russek
JACKSON, TN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (13-18) beat the Cleburne Railroaders 7-6 at The Ballpark at Jackson on Thursday night.
Tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Raul Navarro hit a two-out popfly down the right field line that broke off the glove of a diving Hunter Clanin. Dakota Conners scored from first on the double to give Winnipeg a 7-6 lead.
Nate Antone and Jose Jose combined on a scoreless top of the eighth to preserve lead. Jose retired Ramon Hernandez on a popup to first base that stranded the tying and go-ahead runs on the corners.
Jose then worked a perfect top of the ninth to complete a four-out save. It was Jose’s third save of the season.
Cleburne took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Zach Nehrir led off with a double and scored on a two-out, RBI single up the middle from John Nester.
The Goldeyes scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Navarro reached on a one-out throwing error by Railroaders’ starter Michael Gunn. After Logan Hill walked on four pitches, Kevin Lachance ripped a single through the left side on an 0-2 count that scored Navarro with the tying run. Two batters later, Sonny Ulliana pulled a single to left that scored Hill.
The Railroaders (16-17) tied the game in the top of the third on a Clanin sacrifice fly, and took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Noah Vaughan slugged a solo home run to right-centre.
Winnipeg scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-3 lead. A Navarro single and walks to Logan Hill and Lachance loaded the bases with no outs. Wes Darvill plated Navarro on a fielder’s choice, and the Goldeyes went in front 4-3 when Gunn made an errant pickoff throw that allowed Hill to score from third. Ulliana ripped a double down the left field line that scored Darvill, while Max Murphy capped the rally with a two-out, RBI double to left-centre.
Cleburne pulled within 6-4 in the fifth on an RBI double to left-centre from Nehrir. Hernandez cracked a two-out, two-run home run to left-centre in the top of the sixth that tied the game at 6-6.
Nathan Foriest (1-0) picked up the win in relief in his Goldeyes’ debut. Brendan Bell (0-1) took the loss in relief for the Railroaders.
Joey Gonzalez started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in four and one-third innings. Gonzalez walked three and struck out two.
Gunn also took a no-decision, allowing six runs, four earned, on five hits over three and one-third innings. Gunn walked three and struck out two.
Tyler Hill singled in the first and has hit safely in nine straight games.
Foriest was signed prior to Thursday’s game. The left-hander made six appearances earlier this season for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, allowing one earned run over three innings. Foriest was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round in 2015 out of Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, Tennessee), and reached the High-A California League later that summer. The Goldeyes’ active roster is now at the American Association maximum 25 players.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series against the Houston Apollos on Friday night. First pitch from The Ballpark at Jackson is at 6:35 p.m. All the action can be heard locally on CJNU 93.7 FM and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes will continue to monitor the reopening of the Canada/US border and assess a potential return to Shaw Park in 2021.
In the coming weeks, Winnipeg Goldeyes staff will contact ticket holders with more information and appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.