In a Friday night showdown between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Cleburne Railroaders, Cleburne’s early power swings led them to a 6-4 win over the Goldeyes at La Moderna Field.

Jonathan Tripp got the start for Cleburne (2-0) and he was knocked out of the game in the top of the first inning after Max Murphy lined one right back at Tripp. He left the game to Theo McDowell. Zac Reninger took the ball for Winnipeg in game two of the six-game set.

The scoring got started in the bottom of the first when a two-run home run hit by Thomas Dillard put the Railroaders ahead 2-0.

In the top of the second, Ramón Bramasco hit a laser down the right field line that was originally signaled as a two-run home run to tie the game. However, after an umpire review, the call was overturned to a foul ball.

The bottom of the second was highlighted by back-to-back home runs hit by Hill Alexander and Brian O’ Grady that pushed the Cleburne lead to 4-0. An RBI double by Carter Aldrete who was thrown out pushing for a triple moved the lead to 5-0 after six innings.

Winnipeg (0-2) got on the board in the top of the seventh when an RBI single by Keshawn Lynch cut the Railroaders’ lead to 5-1. A few batters later, Bramasco scored on a wild pitch pulling the Goldeyes to within three at 5-2. In the bottom of the frame, a bases-loaded walk from Thomas Dillard brought the Cleburne lead to back to 6-2.

The top of the eighth inning, catcher Rob Emery doubled to right scoring Miles Simington, reducing the lead to 6-3. The final run came in the top of the ninth when Adam Hall hit a double of his own, scoring Lynch and bringing the tying run to the plate at 6-4 with one away. Three pitches later, a ground out, and a fly out ended the game and sent Winnipeg to their second loss of the season.

Justin Courtney and Ryder Yakel pitched in relief. Courtney went one inning, giving up a hit and a run with three walks, and three strikeouts. Yakel pitched an inning as well, only surrendering a walk.

Postgame, Goldeyes manager Logan Watkins said he isn’t worried about his club’s slow start. “Feeling kind of mixed,” he said. “Reininger pitched pretty well. The biggest thing with this Cleburne team is that you need to keep them in the yard. Those home runs have been the decider in both games so far. Offensively we got started a little too late in the game, we made it interesting there at the end in the last couple of innings. It’s good to see Max Murphy barrel up a couple of baseballs, we’re going to need him to be Max Murphy for us. But we kept fighting. We were there again at the end of the game in the ninth inning, but when you are playing good teams, every out matters and every inning matters. Right now, if we clean up a couple of things, I think we are right there.”
The Goldeyes’ Home Opener at Blue Cross Park is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. against the Chicago Dogs.