by Sophie Darting
On a night where the Kansas City T-Bones’ bullpen coughed up the lead once again in the ninth inning, it was Roy Morales who played hero for the T-Bones as they walked off the Cleburne Railroaders, 10-9, in the opening game of the series.
Christian Binford (1-0) turned in a dominant starting pitching performance, and the Kansas City T-Bones’ (16-16) offense produced 17 hits, but the last hit was the most important.
After both starting pitchers threw a scoreless frame in the first inning, Shawn O’Malley got the T-Bones offense started in the bottom of the second when he crushed a ball to deep center field for his first home run of the season and gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead over Cleburne (15-19).
The Railroaders responded with a run of their own in the top of the third. After Binford hit Daniel Robertson and walked Zach Nehrir, a single by Chase Simpson scored Robertson and tied the game at 1-1.
Cleburne had two runners on base and only one out, but Binford buckled down and struck out the next two batters he faced to limit the damage and keep the game tied.
Kansas City eventually increased its lead to 7-1, but saw it slowly start to diminish as the game went on.
Cleburne started to fight back in the top of the seventh, increasing its score to 7-5 but still trailing behind the T-Bones. Nick Rotola advanced to first on a fielder’s choice, letting Grant Buck score. Then, Rotola advanced to second on a wild pitch by Binford, letting Clanin score. Simpson hit a double to left field, advancing both Robertson and Rotola to home.
In the bottom of the seventh, Casey Gillaspie hit a double to center field advancing both Tice and Nava home, making Kansas City’s score, 9-5.
The Railroaders scored again in the top of the eighth, 9-6, and got three more runs in the top of the ninth off Marc Magliaro (4-2) to tie the game with a trio of RBI-singles by K.C. Huth, Rotola and Robertson.
When things seemed bleak for the T-Bones, Tice gave them hope leading off the bottom of the ninth with a walk. After he stole second, the Railroaders’ reliever, Tyler Wilson (2-2) intentionally walked Gillaspie and proceeded to hit Sparks to load the bases.
Roy Morales stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, and ended the game with a single to left field that scored Tice to win the games for Kansas City.
The Kansas City T-Bones and the Cleburne Railroaders will continue their series at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, June 22.
Full and half-season 2019 ticket packages as well as mini plans are on sale online or by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke’s Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale.
- Story from T-Bones