LINCOLN – Mitch Glasser went 3-4 and the Cleburne Railroaders spoiled the home opener for the Lincoln Saltdogs by handing them a 5-2 defeat.
Derek Gordon was charged with the loss for the Saltdogs despite giving up just two runs in 4.1 innings. The tall right-hander limited the Railroaders to five hits while striking out four batters. Patrick Mincey notched a quality start and a win for Cleburne. He went six innings and gave up one run on six hits. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out three Saltdogs.
The Railroaders got on the board in the first inning thanks to Glasser. The former Joplin Blaster knocked a one-out single and then stole second base. Geraldo Valentin hit a looping ball that bounced into shallow center field and scored Glasser for the first run of the game.
Glasser generated more offense in the 3rd inning. The right fielder launched a one-out pitch from Gordon over the left field fence to make it 2-0.
The Saltdogs attempted to start a comeback in the 4th inning. Christian Ibarra led off with a double and moved to third base on a single from Curt Smith. Then, Cesar Valera came through with a two-out base hit to score Ibarra and make the score 2-1.
Both bullpens settled in after the 4th inning. Leuris Gomez, Zac Person and Fabio Martinez combined to toss four innings of shutout relief for the Saltdogs. Casey Upperman worked two innings of hitless baseball for Cleburne.
The offenses woke back up in the 9th. The Railroaders jumped on Josh Laxer for three runs on five hits to build their lead to 5-1.
The Saltdogs made a run at a rally in the bottom of the 9th. Tommy Mendonca was hit by a pitch to start the inning and stole second base. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Trever Adams single. But, the next two Saltdogs struck out to end the game.
3,206 fans enjoyed 77 degrees weather during the home opener. It was the first game between the Railroaders and the Saltdogs as Cleburne is playing their first season of baseball.
The Saltdogs look to snap a four game skid on Friday night. First pitch against the Railroaders is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.