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Railroaders take the division lead after series finale win

Jun. 10—Left-handed starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu matched his longest outing of the season withs even innings pitched, four hits but no runs given up as the Cleburne Railroaders took the series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats after a 9-1 win on Sunday night at La Moderna Field.

Third baseman Bret Boswell found his groove in this series with another great offensive performance. Boswell went 3-for-4 with four RBI as three of them came off a home run in the seventh inning. That inning turned a one-run lead into a four-run lead for Cleburne. Another four runs were scored in the eighth inning.

Right fielder Brian O'Grady added one RBI in that eighth inning bringing in shortstop Carter Aldrete off a single which put his final total at 16 RBI for the series. Pucheu, in the two starts, against Gary pitched 14 innings, no earned runs and seven strikeouts. Both players are in heavy contention for players of the week in their positions in the American Association.

Cleburne took four out of six against the RailCats and they did it with an outstanding number of runs. Twenty-two walks led to 23 runs in game three, followed by 18 runs in game four and nine runs in the finale put the Railroaders at a total of 70 runs scored in six games.

Losses from Milwaukee and Kane County on Sunday place the Railroaders in first place of the East Division as they head to Lake Country to take on the Dockhounds in a six-game series. Game one begins at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday.

The second loss the Railroaders faced in their six-game series against the RailCats came Saturday night.

The RailCats' Peyton Long got the nod and faced off against a Cleburne's right-handed pitcher Johnathon Tripp.

Gary SouthShore's Gio Diaz reached on an error from Aldrete; he moved into scoring position on a stolen base and scored on LG Castillo's double that was sent over the head of Blaze Brothers. Boswell scored to tie the game.

Long shut down the 'Roaders for four innings before being lifted. Marcos Gonzalez put him in line for the win after we grooved a slider over the left-field wall to give the RailCats a 2-1 edge. Cleburne scratched across two runs and took a 3-2 lead.

The RailCats trailed 3-2 going to the top of the eighth inning, and with two outs, the Cats made their move. Jacob Bockelie worked a two-out walk and moved Quintana into scoring position. Jackson Valera, who finished with four hits, doubled down the line to plate Quintana and tie the game at three. Diaz singled back through the middle to plate two and give the 'Cats a lead.

In the top of the ninth, the RailCats singled three times to load the bases for Carlos Rincon, and Rincon launched a grand slam to put the nail in the coffin as the RailCats defeated Cleburne 9-3.

Boswell went 3-for-5 with three RBI, including a two-run home run, in the second inning as the Railroaders scored double-digit runs with an 18-3 win over the RailCats on Friday night.

Boswell was one of three Railroaders to go yard in the win with Aldrete and O'Grady earned his 12th, which gives him the league lead.

O'Grady drove in three runs off of four hits which puts his RBI mark at 38 on the year, extending his lead to 12 over second place.

Once again the run total overshadowed a Railroader first on the mound. In game three, it was left-handed pitcher Antonio Velez making his Cleburne debut and pitching well while Saturday it was right-handed pitcher Luke Boyd making his first start in his professional career. Boyd made three appearances for the Railroaders on relief but got the start today and impressed.

The former Baylor Bear went 4.1 innings pitched, dispersed seven hits, allowed three earned runs and struck out two batters.

Boyd started a chain of great pitching overall for Cleburne as right-handed pitcher Kristian Scott picked up the win after 1.2 IP and only one hit. Scott now holds a 3-0 record.

After this week's road trip, the Railroaders return home for a six-game series against the Milwaukee Milkmen.

As of Monday, O'Grady leads the league in home runs with 12 and RBIs with 39. Aldrete is in a close battle for best batting average of .342, right behind Fargo-Moorhead's Ismael Alcantara at .350.

For his great week, O'Grady was named Pointstreak Batter of the Week on Monday.