Second Inning Shift
Miss 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.
Arkansas’ bats exploded for 18 hits against the RoughRiders and the Travs evened the series at a game apiece heading into the Friday night finale. Click here to read the full game recap.
The Travelers came to play, but in a second consecutive outing, Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez couldn’t seem to catch a break. Corpus Christi dinged him for 12 soft singles on June 20. Last night, it was a rough second inning that turned the course of the RoughRiders’ night permanently against their favor.
Mike Bianucci kept one ball in the infield on Thursday, but still managed to reach in the second on a fielding error by Joey Gallo. The third baseman charged slow grounder but came up with an empty glove as he went into the throwing motion.
Gonzalez then hit the next batter, Jett Bandy, with a pitch to put two on with nobody out. Home plate umpire Matt Czajak made a belated ruling after Bandy was halfway down the first base line. The hesitation peeved Jason Wood, who offered some demonstrative words to Czajak before returning to the dugout. Perhaps the exchange rattled Czajak, who made a poor call with significant ramifications later in the frame.
The ‘Riders managed to turn a double play to pick up two outs as a runner traveled to third. But after Kaleb Cowart tied the game with an RBI double, Czajak ruled a bouncer from Drew Heid on the third base line fair, which gave Arkansas a lead they would not relinquish.
From the press box the outfield berm, the ball appeared to cross wide of third base, but the only pair of eyes in the park that didn’t see it as such happened to be the home plate umpire. From the moment Wood emerged from the dugout for the second time in the inning, everyone understood his night was about to end. Sure enough, Czajak tossed Wood and the Travelers held the momentum for the rest of the night. An unfortunate series of events for the RoughRiders, who got off to a good start with a Ryan Strausborger home run in the first inning.
Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 2/4, 2R, HR, 2B, RBI
Joey doubled to right and launched a 1-0 pitch from Carmine Giardina to the opposite field in the seventh. It had the height to clear the WinStar Diamond Deck but instead clanged off the tin roof and caromed back into the field of play. Scouts and coaches say Gallo’s power to the opposite direction is what will make him a terror to big league pitchers. He is far more complex than a mere pull-side slugger and he has shown it on multiple occasions this season. The proud Italian has seven Double-A homers and reclaims sole possession of first in the minors with 28 long balls in 2014.
In case you missed it:
-Teodoro Martinez drew the only walk of the game for either team in the seventh inning from Carmine Giardina.
-RoughRiders pitching allowed 18 hits, the most in a single game this season for the staff
-In 60 games in Triple-A, Strausborger had no home runs and no multi-RBI games. He has one home run and two multi-RBI nights in two games with Frisco this season.
-Former RoughRider Mike Bianucci ate his former team for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday. He finished 4-for-5 at the plate with four runs, a double, a home run and three runs batted in.
Listen to catcher Tomás Telis regale his experience at the All-Star game and touch on modifications to his stance behind the dish:
Thanks for tuning in,