The Cleburne Railroaders defeated the Winnipeg Goldeyes 5-3 at La Moderna Field Thursday evening in the opening game of the American Association season.

Cleburne (1-0) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when shortstop Trent Giambrone singled to shallow left field to bring home second baseman Shed Long.

The Goldeyes (0-1) evened the score in the top of the second on right fielder Ryan Holgate’s hard single to right field that drove in left fielder Miles Simington. The Railroaders responded in the bottom of the same inning as designated hitter Brian O’Grady hit a two-run home run to right field make it 3-1.

Winnipeg trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the third inning as third baseman Dayson Croes singled up the middle to score centre fielder Adam Hall.

A solo home run down the left field line by right fielder Carter Aldrete in the bottom of the fourth inning gave Cleburne a 4-2 lead before third baseman Bret Boswell made it 5-2 in the seventh inning with a single to right field that brought Long into score his second run of the contest.

The Goldeyes once again pulled to within two in the top of the eighth inning on Croes’ second RBI base hit of the game – another single to centre that also scored Hall.

Winnipeg brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after Simington led off with a double, but the Railroaders’ Joe Corbett (S, 1) was able to secure the final three outs.

Kristian Scott (W, 1-0) threw 2.2 innings of hitless relief of Cleburne starter Kasey Kalich and was awarded the victory in a scorer’s decision. Railroaders pitchers recorded 13 strikeouts on the evening.

Colton Eastman (L, 0-1) allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits over five innings of work. Tasker Strobel and Grant Townsend combined to pitch the final three innings for the Goldeyes.

"It was a good Opening Day test for us, there was a good crowd here in Cleburne and a great atmosphere," Goldeyes manager Logan Watkins said postgame. "I think Cleburne has one of the better teams in the league on paper to start the season, with a ton of experienced guys and a lot of power. They're a tough team to deal with right off the bat and we were right there in the ninth inning with a chance to pull even and possibly win the game late. It was good for us to get the first one out of the way and hopefully we'll bounce right back tomorrow (Friday)."

The series continues Friday at 7:06 PM with former Major League righty and Texas native Zac Reininger (0-0, 0.00 ERA) starting for Winnipeg. Right-hander Juan Hillman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will respond for Cleburne.

Trevor Curl will have the call on CJNU 93.7 FM and The pregame show gets underway at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be streamed free of charge at AABaseball.TV.

The Goldeyes’ Home Opener at Blue Cross Park is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. against the Chicago Dogs.