May 2nd, 2014

Homestand Preview: May 3-11

The ‘Riders open their third homestand of the season against the Midland RockHounds on Saturday. After four games against the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, the team will enjoy its first day off since April 16. Frisco closes out the stretch with a four-game set against the Corpus Christi Hooks. The team cruised to a 6-2 mark during its last homestand and now sits 8-6 overall at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season.

Highlights from the last homestand include Luke Jackson, who earned Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors for April 14-20. The right-hander pitched a seven-inning shut-out performance against the San Antonio Missions on April 21 in which he took a perfect game into the sixth inning. The 22-year-old finished the night with eight strikeouts, no walks and three hits allowed for his second win of the season.

Center fielder Jake Skole bopped a pair of walk-off hits in the previous homestand. His RBI single off Brady Rogers scored Trever Adams from third base and pushed Frisco to a 3-2 win over Corpus Christi on April 17. Five nights later on April 22, Skole struck again with a monster two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the ninth off San Antonio’s Luis De La Cruz. The ‘Riders took that game 7-5 over the Missions.

Much like Frisco’s series against Corpus Christi at Dr Pepper Ballpark from April 17-20, the four-game set with Midland May 3-6 will be a battle for supremacy in the Texas League South Division. The RockHounds have won six of their last seven games and have the chance to sweep the Corpus Christi Hooks tonight in west Texas. A half game separates the ‘Riders and the RockHounds in the standings as of May 2 (the RockHounds had a game against the Missions postponed until May 10), and the dogs assumed sole possession of first place after Frisco’s 4-2 loss on May 1. It marked the first time Frisco fell out of the top spot since April 14.

The Hooks return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on May 8 for the second time in 2014. The ‘Riders won the first series 3-1. During that meeting, the Hooks snapped an 0-for-46 stretch at the plate in the seventh inning or later. Frisco holds a 5-3 edge in the season series after the teams split a four-game set in Corpus Christi April 25-28. The ‘Riders have defeated the Hooks by one run in four of their five wins this season. Astonishingly, 12 of the Hooks’ 13 losses have come by a one-run margin.

We hope you can join us for the next homestand, either in person or over the air. Four games will be televised in the Metroplex on KTXD 47, and as always, you can head to www.ridersbaseball.com and click on the “Multimedia” tab for a list of audio/video options.

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

When ‘The Show’ Calls

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be called into the skipper’s office and be told that you’re going on your first major league assignment. This is the first step for guys who are ready to fulfill a life long dream of making it to their dream job. The place they’ve dedicated their lives to reaching. The Show.

The harsh reality that must be understood is that the chance to make it to the major leagues might not come. It might only happen once on a cool September day, and before you know it, you’re back on the farm. These calls from Arlington may be few and far between.Lets face it, this is the world of baseball. It’s a business. This means when the phone does start to ring that it’s time to make the most of it. It’s time to make every second last. Every pinch-hit at bat. Every opportunity to trot the bases on a big league diamond. Every do-or-die sliding catch. Most importantly, however, it’s time to remember to have fun up there, kid.

Let’s take a look at a few RoughRiders who were given the opportunity to chase a dream and make it a reality.

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1) INF Luis Sardinas

20-year-old Luis Sardinas was called up on Saturday April 19, 2014 and made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers the following day, which was an Easter Sunday afternoon contest against the Chicago White Sox. In the top of the eighth the switch-hitter was a defensive substitution for shortstop Elvis Andrus, another ‘Rider alum. Sardinas, batting with two-on and two-out, hit the first pitch he faced as a big leaguer up the middle to move over both runners, and hustled out the play at first for an infield single and his fist major league hit. He would play in three more games for the Rangers before returning to the RoughRiders in a move that brought Adrian Beltre off of the disabled list.

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2) RHP Nick Martinez

Nick Martinez made his major league debut in a spot start against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 5, 2014. An injured Yu Darvish was scratched from his Opening Day start and moved everyone in the rotation up one day, which opened up the door for Martinez. The 6-1 righty went toe-to-toe with 2012 Cy Young Award Winner David Price to begin his service in the big leagues and impressed by giving Texas a quality start. Martinez was sent back down to Frisco, but the trip was short as he was recalled by the Rangers one minor league start later. He’s pitched in 16 major league innings, made two starts and has a 2.81 ERA.

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3) RHP Neil Ramirez (Chicago Cubs)

Neil Ramirez was sent to the Chicago Cubs in last season’s trade to add RHP Matt Garza to the Rangers’ starting rotation and made his major league debut on April 25, 2014 against, oddly enough, Garza and the Milwaukee Brewers. Funny how baseball works out sometimes, right? Ramirez has only pitched two major league innings, but his results look positive as he has yet to give up a hit against seven batters faced. His fist major league strike out was of slugger Ryan Braun.

Ramirez is the 110th RoughRider to earn a promotion to the ‘The Show’. Congratulations to these three men and I wish them the best of luck as they continue their careers. Arlington (or in the case of Neil Ramirez, Chicago) put in a call, and they’ve made the most of it.

-Cameron Varnau

‘Riders Rewind – May 1

Crew_DeuceMiss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The bats fell silent for the RoughRiders in their 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Thursday. The Missions held the ‘Riders scoreless after the third inning and allowed three base hits over the final six innings. Frisco batted 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left ten men stranded. Click here to read the full game recap.

Frisco grabbed a two-run lead in the third inning when Ryan Rua drove in his 16th run of the season. The ‘Riders initially scored on a throwing error by San Antonio right fielder Yeison Asencio in the same frame.

San Antonio rallied to tie after a fielding error by Rougned Odor plated a run, followed by an RBI single from Robert Kral. The Missions took the lead for good when Lee Orr doubled home a run off Luke Jackson. They added an insurance run in the seventh when Jason Hagerty batted in a run off Ryan Rodebaugh.

Johnny Barbato earned his sixth save of the season, tied for most in the Texas League, when he struck out Jake Smolinski to end the ballgame.

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

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