Frisco vs. Midland Season Recap
By: Cameron Varnau
The RoughRiders conclude their 2014 season at home with a three-game series against the Midland RockHounds this weekend at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and will then face off against the ‘Hounds in the first round of post-season play. Frisco took the Texas League by storm in the first-half by cruising to a 40-29 record and secured the club’s playoff spot with Midland on their heels at 38-32, only a 2.5 game difference. The second-half followed a similar path as the two teams were tied in the standings with only six games left to play. We know the winner of the second-half will earn game five of the playoff series, should it be necessary, so both teams have something to play as the curtain falls on the 2014 regular season.
The season series has been a close one with the RoughRiders out in front 14-11 and it was a trend that began in the second series between the two teams, which took place May 12-15 in Midland. The series could have looked much different, however, as the final three games of the four-game set were decided by one run.
- A big split on the road.
The ‘Riders took game one of the set 8-4, but game two was a gritty 5-4 win with Frisco putting up crooked numbers in the run column in the fifth and sixth innings. Trever Adams went 1-for-5 with two RBI and Kyle Lotzkar struck out six over three innings pitched. The RockHounds, however, took the final two games of the series with 7-6 and 11-10 close wins. Had the ‘Riders scrounged up a few more runs in those final two games they could have earned a tough series sweep.
- The debut of Joey Gallo.
Frisco got out to a fast start with a four-run first inning and rode the back of Luke Jackson, who struck out nine batters over 5 1/3 innings pitched, but Midland fired back by scoring runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the contest. Neither team could score until Joey Gallo stepped up with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth. The tall lefty took Seth Frankoff deep to left-center in his first game with the ‘Riders to put an end to a two-game losing streak and give Frisco a 7-4 victory. Gallo accounted for four of his club’s seven runs scored in the contest and went 1-for-5.
- Midland runs Frisco out of town by taking 3/4 (game four postponed due to rain).
The RockHounds were on fire in June (13-7 record) and a few of those wins came against Frisco at the friendly confines of Security Bank Ballpark. Midland woke up Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez in the first game of the four-game series at tattooed him with five hits and two runs over his first 2 2/3 innings pitched. Nate Long allowed only three runs on four hits over his six innings of work and Midland won 8-3.
The good vibes rolled for the ‘Hounds in game two as they blanked Frisco 3-0 behind Chris Jensen (two hits and five strikeouts over seven innings pitched) and Anthony Aliotti (3-for-4, one run and two RBI), and Midland took game three with a 5-2 win. The RockHounds looked to sweep the series, but perhaps Frisco ran into some luck when thunderstorms postponed the fourth game of the series.
- Frisco takes 3/4 with double-header split.
The ‘Riders once again took to the road and arrived in Midland for a four-game set, with a scheduled double-header on July 22, and Frisco took three of the four games to help their cause in the race for the second-half. Frisco won the first game 6-1 behind Alec Asher who allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings and a four-run seventh frame, and the teams split the double-header the next day. The ‘Hounds scored two runs in the sixth inning of the first seven-inning game to win 7-6, but J.T. Wise went 4-for-4 with three runs scored in the second game to split the twin bill. The RoughRiders took the final game of the set with a 5-3 win to provide for a big win in the playoff race.
- Road-trippin’ RoughRiders take 2/3 on road for late season push.
Frisco hit the road for the last road trip of the year, a seven-gamer with three against Midland and four against the San Antonio Misisons, and the ‘Riders answered the bell with the late-season test against the RockHounds. Frisco took the first two games of the series with 4-3 and 5-2 wins, which went a long way in their fight to win the second-half of the Texas League South.
The RoughRiders begin their final series of the regular season on Saturday against the Midland RockHounds at 7:05 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. It’s becoming quite likely that the winner of the series will win the second-half and be awarded a potential game five at home to complete the best-of-five divisional series. The RoughRiders will host games one and two of the series on August 3rd and 4th so stay tuned to the ‘Riders Insider Blog and www.ridersbaseball.com for the latest news on pitching match-ups for the series and all of the latest RoughRiders’ news.