Hernandez Homers 3 Times; Hansel Collects Win

Ryan Hernandez celebrates with Cesar Izturis at home plate

Cleburne, Texas — Ryan Hernandez smashed three home runs for a single-game franchise-high eight RBI in Luke Hansel’s first professional win, a Lake Country DockHounds 12-4 victory to even the long series.

Josh Altmann legged out an infield single in the top of the first, which paved the way for a two-run, two-out long ball for Hernandez, facing his former Cleburne Railroaders. His next plate appearance resulted in a sacrifice fly, his eighth of the season. The following frame, the bases were loaded with three runs already home in the fourth inning. Hernandez clubbed a grand slam, the second of the week for Lake Country, beyond the left field wall to push the DockHounds in front by 11. Sky high in his third at bat, Hernandez knew as soon as he hit, that was home run number three of the night and the franchise record eighth run batted in.

“Getting 8 RBI is awesome, but I can score them without my teammates being on base,” Hernandez said. “I just try to have fun and hit the ball to where they aren’t.”

Demetrius Sims also set a franchise record with three-bagger in the third inning. After four triples tied the franchise record last year, Sims with five now stands alone with the most triples in DockHounds history.

Lake Country got a fine start turned in by Hansel, six innings of four run ball to get his first professional win. 

“I’m trying not to make it as big of a deal, but it definitely feels good to get that under my belt,” Hansel said. “To be embraced by teammates afterwards was definitely a great feeling.” 

He worked through three hitless innings before walks came into play, but has now worked through 13 innings in his last two starts.

“My fastball was playing up with good ride,” Hansel said. “That was my best pitch tonight and helped me through with breaking balls not as effective as I would like.”

The DockHounds broke things open with their seven-run fourth inning, which of course ended with an exclamation point on Hernandez’s grand slam. It started with a single on the first pitch of the inning. 

Carson Maxwell then reached on a fielder’s choice error before another fielder’s choice for out number one. Thomas Jones got the scoring started with an RBI single before Blake Tiberi was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Josh Altmann. 

Entering the night in 47 at bats with the bases loaded, Lake Country only had 34 RBI and a .191 batting average. Altmann singled sharply through the left side for two runs and after a Sims infield single, Hernandez smacked the second grand slam for Lake Country of 2024.

J.T. Moeller, Alan Carter, and Blake Kunz all threw scoreless innings in relief to complete the victory. Duncan Snider will get the ball on Independence Day as the DockHounds aim to take the series edge over Cleburne.

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