South Division Championship Series: Statistical Comparison

The Texas League South Division Championship Series kicks off tonight. The best-of-five season commences at 7:05 p.m. with Dr Pepper Ballpark serving as the venue for the first two games. A quick glance at the schedule:

  • Game 1 – Tonight, 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark
  • Game 2 – Thursday, September 4, 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark
  • Game 3 – Friday, September 5, 7:00 p.m. at Security Bank Ballpark
  • Game 4 (if necessary) – Saturday, September 6, 7:00 p.m. at Security Bank Ballpark
  • Game 5 (if necessary) – Sunday, September 7, 6:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark

Now a look at the team stats for Frisco and Midland along with their records against each other in 2014. Texas League rankings included in parentheses. A bolded statistic means a higher ranking compared to the other team:

Frisco RoughRiders: South Division Champions (80-59 overall)

Batting average: .266 (1)

ERA: 3.39 (3)

Runs scored: 642 (2)

Runs allowed: 538 (2nd fewest)

Home runs: 114 (2)

Home runs allowed: 89 (T-3rd fewest)

Stolen bases: 85 (8)

Caught stealing: 57 (2)

Strikeouts: 1069 (4th most)

Walks: 419 (7th most)

Opponent strikeouts: 1136 (2nd most)

Opponent walks: 465 walks (3rd most)

Midland RockHounds: South Division Wild Card (77-63 Overall)

Batting average: .252 (T2)

ERA: 3.71 (5)

Runs scored: 628 (3)

Runs allowed: 592 (5th fewest)

Home runs: 107 (4)

Home runs allowed: 98 (5th fewest)

Stolen bases: 137 (2)

Caught stealing: 43 (fewest)

Strikeouts: 1154 (most)

Walks: 541 (most)

Opponent strikeouts: 981 (7th most)

Opponent walks: 460 (4th most)

2014 Regular Season Series: Frisco won 16-12

At Dr Pepper Ballpark: 9-5 Frisco

At Security Bank Ballpark: 7-7 split

Playoff Series Notes:

Frisco brings an all-time postseason record of 22-20 into the series. The ‘Riders are 14-9 all-time in the Division Championship Series. Midland, meanwhile, is 23-26 all-time in the playoffs. Neither team qualified for the postseason in 2013. This is Frisco’s first appearance since 2012 and Midland’s first since 2010. This series is a rematch of the 2010 South Division Championship Series in which the RockHounds defeated the RoughRiders three games to one. The Hounds lost to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in the Texas League Championship Series that year.

Be sure to listen to our interview with Game 1 starting pitcher, Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez. He chats about his postseason preparation and past experience pitching with the season on the line:

 

Thanks, as always, for tuning in. Here’s to a great postseason run with the RoughRiders!

-Chris V.

2014 RoughRiders Second-Half Awards

By: Cameron Varnau

Hitter: INF Odubel Herrera

Odubel Herrera watching it fly.

Odubel Herrera 

The native of Zulia, Venezuela scorched opposing pitchers on his way to the Texas League batting title in 2014. The lefty batted .319 in 67 games and notched 33 runs on 82 hits with 12 doubles and 31 RBI. He walked 24 times and had a slash line of .319 BA/.379 OBP/.393 SLG. His closest competitor for the 2014 batting title was Brain Hernandez of the Arkansas Travelers in the North Division, who finished 13 points behind, but Herrera was at one point up by at least 50 points and cruised to the achievement. Herrera was also named both a 2014 Texas League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star.

Pitcher: RHP Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez

"Chi Chi" prepares to throw home.

Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez

“Chi Chi” joined the RoughRiders in 2014 after making 11 starts for Class-A Myrtle Beach and was a very productive bell-cow for Jeff Andrews and the Frisco pitching staff. Gonzalez, a native of Boynton Beach, Florida, pitched his way to a 6-3 record with a 2.74 ERA over 12 starts in the second-half. Allowing 20 earned runs on 61 hits, the right-hander pitched 65 2/3 innings and used a dominant four-pitch mix to frustrate the opposition. One of the top pitching prospects in the Rangers’ organization, Gonzalez walked 25 and struck out 55 in the second-half for the ‘Riders. Those statistics earned him the nod to pitch game one of the South Division Championship Series against the Midland RockHounds on September 3.

Defender: INF Hanser Alberto

Hanser Alberto

Hanser Alberto

Hanser was named the Texas League Defensive Player of the Month for his efforts in July and was easily one of the best shortstops in the entire league. The infielder posted a .988 fielding percentage and committed only three errors in 242 total chances, and at one point rode a hot streak of a 38-game errorless streak. From a scout’s perspective, Alberto is considered to have 80-grade defense and showcased his talents by making the routine play, and then some, but also made difficult plays in the hole look easy.

Team Leader: C Patrick Cantwell

Patrick Cantwell

Patrick Cantwell

Patrick, a native of Wes Islip, New York, was an easy choice to be nominated as one of the stronger leaders on the team. The catcher used a dominant presence behind the plate to command a pitching staff that was statistically ranked in the upper-half of the Texas League. Cantwell received praise for being able to work well with all of the pitchers on the staff, which featured the likes of Texas Rangers’ starter Derek Holland, and established quick chemistry with members of the team who joined later in season, such as Jake Thompson. At the plate Cantwell hit .306 with 49 hits and 19 RBI, and routinely found himself on base as he was plunked 15 times in the second-half alone (22 on the year).

Newcomer: INF/C J.T. Wise

J.T. Wise

J.T. Wise

Wise joined the RoughRiders after signing with the Texas Rangers on July 4, 2014. The righty was signed after playing with the Wichita Wingnuts of the Independent Baseball League and quickly asserted himself in the middle of the RoughRiders’ lineup, and he did it with pop. J.T. finished the year with a .319 average and scored 27 runs on 45 hits with 34 RBI. The catcher and first baseman hit 13 doubles and smacked 11 home runs, but also sported a 1.034 OPS. Wise seemed to always come up with the timely hit, and they were big ones as a few of his homers led his team to a victory.

MVP: INF Trever Adams

Trever Adams

Trever Adams

Trever put up impressive numbers in various categories for the RoughRiders during both halves of the Texas League season, but his second-half saw some pretty impressive feats. The first baseman posted a .286 average and scored 36 runs to go along with 29 RBI on 76 hits. The righty hit 22 doubles and seven home runs over 68 second-half contests, and he scored an inside-the-park home run in the second inning off a contest against the Midland RockHounds on July 30. He displayed versatility by playing 25 games in left and served as the Frisco designated hitter, as well. Adams did it all for the RoughRiders during the second-half, and for that he takes home our award for MVP.

It’s tough to give awards to only six men on the 2014 team as the club used an abundance of talent and hard work to win both the first and second halves of the year. Stars such as Joey Gallo, who clubbed 21 homers with the ‘Riders (42 between Frisco and Myrtle Beach), Jorge Alfaro and Nomar Mazara, as well as a loaded pitching staff, carried the RoughRiders to a 40-win second-half and what could potentially be a Texas League Championship.

Buckle Up


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.

Here we go. Playoff baseball returns to Dr Pepper Ballpark for the first time since 2012 as the Frisco RoughRiders open up a best-of-five series with the Midland RockHounds for the right to represent the South Division in the Texas League Championship Series. But first, a look back at how the regular season ended.

It’s important not to use the results of the regular season finale against Midland to portend the outcome of the playoff series. However, the ‘Riders have just cause to feel confident. After they dropped Saturday’s game to the Hounds, the RoughRiders needed to win the final two games to secure home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The scenario served as a dry run of sorts to see how the ‘Riders would rise or fall to the challenge of winning a game with something extra on the line. They passed the beta test with flying colors, outscoring Midland by ten runs over the final two games of the regular season. Frisco achieved several season milestones in the process:

  • The RoughRiders posted the best record in the South Division for both the first half (40-29) and second half (40-30) of the season. It’s the first time the ‘Riders have clinched both halves since 2008, a season in which they lost to Arkansas in the Texas League Championship Series.
  • The regular season record of 80-59 is the fourth-best in franchise history. It’s the fifth time in 12 seasons the ‘Riders have reached the 80-win plateau. Eighty wins is also a career high for Jason Wood as a manager.
  • Frisco finished 41-29 at Dr Pepper Ballpark on the season, 39-30 on the road, 51-41 against the South Division and 29-18 against the North Division.

Star of the Game: LHP Andrew Faulkner – 5.0 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 6 K

Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Hanser Alberto each hit home runs, but Andrew takes the cake for submitting his finest outing since his August 2 when he won his first Double-A decision. The southpaw looked tired at times (quite understandably) over the final month of the season, but looked rejuvenated on the hill in his first outing in seven days. His five shutout frames serve as an unmistakable confidence boost going into the playoffs. Andrew ended the regular season with his second win as a RoughRider.

In case you missed it:

-In an ironic twist, J.T. Wise was the only RoughRider without a base hit on Monday. That didn’t stop the 28-year-old from receiving Texas League Player of the Week honors for August 25-September 1. J.T. turned in one of the finest offensive weeks on the team this season in the final week. He batted .333 and clocked five home runs in a consecutive four-game stretch and drove in 12 runs. The resident of Las Vegas joined Jake Skole as the only ‘Riders to hit multiple home runs in a game and became the third ‘Rider with a grand slam this year. He posted an incredulous 1.268 in the month of August.

-Frisco went out with a bang offensively, but it’s important to note the damage came off Kyle Finnegan, a call-up from Low-A who made his Double-A debut on Monday. Finnegan likely won’t play in the playoff series, but still, the ‘Riders did what they should have done against a pitcher as green to the level as Finnegan.

-The shutout marked the 12th of the season for the ‘Riders. They finished 12-6 in shutout games for a .667 winning percentage. By comparison, the RockHounds finished 10-5 for a .667 winning percentage as well.

-Gallo: 1-for-2, R, HR, 3 RBI, SF, BB, SO

Joey finished the regular season with a bang, quite literally. After his towering blast to right field in the first inning to open the scoring, Joey finished with 21 homers as a RoughRider and 42 on the season. He ends a thrilling regular season second in the Texas League in home runs behind Telvin Nash’s 22 and second in the minors behind Kris Bryant’s 43. Joey also lead the Carolina League with 21 home runs in a span of just over two months in Advanced-A.

-A final look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (21)

2. Trever Adams (14)

3. J.T. Wise (11)

4. Jake Skole (6)

5. Jorge Alfaro (4)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Nomar Mazara (3)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

8. Hanser Alberto (2)

10. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

Hear from the hottest hitter in the Texas League at the end of the regular season, J.T. Wise:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

The Game That Ended Twice


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.

This is my first season in Minor League Baseball. Do they all end like this? An entertaining 6-5 game on Saturday looked positively bland after a 12-9 barn-burner on Sunday that ended…twice. Click here to read the full game recap.

The ‘Riders led 12-4 when Kent Matthes bounced a ball to the left side of the infield with the bases loaded and two out. Third baseman Joey Gallo dove to his left and smothered the ball. He then jumped to his feet and rifled a high throw to Trever Adams at first. Adams leapt to make the catch and attempted to tag the bag and simultaneously swipe Matthes as he raced down the line. First base umpire Ramon Hernandez paused, pointed at the bag and punched out Matthes to end the ballgame. The ‘Riders emptied the dugout and high-fived at the mound, the customary process for a winning team.

All the while, RockHounds’ field manager Aaron Nieckula barked at Hernandez and the three-man umpire crew outside the first base dugout. The umpires conferenced, during which time crew chief Brett Terry overruled Hernandez. If an umpire admittedly needs assistance on a call, he can ask his fellow crewmen to make a ruling. However, Hernandez made his call unambiguously and it was against protocol for the crew chief to overstep the call made on the field. However, Terry did just that and jogged over to the RoughRiders’ dugout where Jason Wood was gathering his equipment before the trek back to the clubhouse. Terry explained to an incredulous Wood that the call on the field had been reversed, that Matthes was safe at first, a run had scored and the game would continue. Wood was tossed from the game. He had every reason to pull a Joe Mikulik, but things never escalated quite that far.

Instead, after a 17-minute moratorium, play resumed with the score 12-5. The game nearly spiraled away from the RoughRiders as the Hounds scored four more runs with their second life and made the score 12-9 with two men aboard before Hiro Nakajima, batting for the second time in the inning, popped out to end the game…again.

Star of the Game: C J.T. Wise – 2/5, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SO

J.T. maintained his torrid stretch at the plate. He didn’t just homer for the fourth night in-a-row; he went deep twice in the same game. In the 138th game of the season, J.T. became the first RoughRider this season to hit two home runs in one game. He cranked the third grand slam of the year for Frisco as well. The four-run home run gave the ‘Riders a 6-2 lead in the first inning. Both blasts went out to left. One clanked off the WinStar Diamond Deck and the other cleared it entirely. A majority of J.T.’s 11 homers this year have gone out to the Diamond Deck in the left field corner. He has claimed that part of the park as his own this summer.

In case you missed it:

-Honorable mention goes to Patrick Cantwell, who was not retired on Sunday. He finished a home run shy of the cycle and batted 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Not surprisingly, Pat was also hit by a pitch twice to up his total to 22, the most in the Texas League.

-The RoughRiders scored six runs in the first inning for the second time this season against Midland (May 6).

-Midland scored six runs in the ninth inning. The ‘Riders had scored a run on a towering home run by Jake Skole in the seventh and tacked on two more with a Patrick Cantwell RBI single in the eighth. The scores seemed meaningless at the time, turning a 9-3 game into a 12-3 blowout, but they proved essential in the staving off what would nearly became another nine-run rally for a RoughRiders’ opponent (July 18).

-Saturday’s 6-5 win for Midland lasted a season-long (for a nine-inning game) three hours and 37 minutes, a record that stood for one game. Sunday’s affair lasted three hours and 48 innings.

-Every RoughRider reached base on Sunday.

-The RoughRiders batted around in the first inning and sent 12 men to the plate. After two innings, every hitter in the order had two plate appearances.

-Midland starting pitcher Murphy Smith did not survive the first inning.

-Gallo: 0-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO

Joey drove in a run on a bases-loaded walk for the second straight night.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (14)

3. J.T. Wise (11)

4. Jake Skole (6)

5. Jorge Alfaro (4)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Field manager Jason Wood talks about his approach as skipper to the final regular season series of the year:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Midland One Win Away From Second-Half Crown


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.

The RoughRiders played their longest nine-inning game of the season on Saturday night, a three-hour and 37-minute affair that ended in favor of Midland. Click here to read the full game recap.

Frisco erased two deficits, but never led in the contest. The ‘Riders fell behind 4-0 in the second inning, and the game seemed in danger of slipping away when the the horsemen rallied to even the score in the fifth. Trever Adams tied the game at 5-5 with a solo home run in the seventh. A sacrifice fly from Hiro Nakajima, who had two RBI and a home run last night, proved the decisive score in the top of the ninth.

In an effort to preserve the arms of their starting pitchers, the ‘Riders relied exclusively on the bullpen and started Kyle Lotzkar on Saturday. Lotzkar has been vastly improved in the second half of the season, but reverted back to his first-half character (when, perhaps not coincidentally, he made seven starts) and could not survive the second inning.

Joseph Ortiz and Will Lamb each allowed go-ahead runs to Midland after the offense had battled to tie the score. The ‘pen never let the game get out of hand, but could not quell the RockHounds’ attack long enough for the bats to take the lead.

What does it all mean? Midland now owns a one game lead in the second-half standings, and the ‘Riders need to win the final two games of the regular season in order to take the second-half crown and secure home field advantage against the Hounds in the playoffs.

Star of the Game: C J.T. Wise – 2/4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SO

Another great night for J.T., who homered for the third night in-a-row to get the ‘Riders on the board in the fourth. He tied the game one inning later on a two-RBI single to center.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders have been striking out in droves. They went down on the K-ball 10 times on Saturday after averaging just under 11 strikeouts/game on their seven-game road trip.

-Teodoro Martinez was the only ‘Rider to not reach base.

-Hanser Alberto batted 0-for-4 and saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end. He did reach base on an error in the sixth.

-Gallo: 0-for-4, RBI, BB, SO

Joey launched a deep fly ball to right-center in the seventh but Kent Matthes caught up to it in time. He drew a five-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the fifth to pick up his 52nd RBI as a RoughRider.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (14)

3. J.T. Wise (9)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Jorge Alfaro (4)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Nick Williams is one of three RoughRiders named to the 2014 Carolina League Post-Season All-Star team. He talks about the accolades he’s reeled in this season, including an invitation to play in the Arizona Fall League:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

In For a Fun Ride


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.

The ‘Riders dropped the series finale with Corpus Christi on Friday night. Midland knocked off San Antonio and arrives at Dr Pepper Ballpark 2 1/2 games behind the RoughRiders for the best record in the Texas League with three to play. Click here to read Friday’s  game recap.

Frisco and Midland now have identical second-half records heading into the final series of the regular season. The math is obvious. Whoever wins this series will finish with the best second-half record in the South Division. This is important because the second-half winner is awarded home field advantage in the division championship series. For the RoughRiders, a series win guarantees a decisive game five in the South Division Championship Series will be played at Dr Pepper Ballpark against Midland.

Even if the RoughRiders lose 2-of-3 and finish with a better overall record than the RockHounds, Midland would still receive game five at their ballpark as second-half champs. So, buckle up. There’s a lot at stake as the regular season concludes.

Star of the Game: C J.T. Wise – 2/4, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 SO

The cogs started to turn for J.T. on the road trip, in particular against Corpus Christi. The backstop belted home runs in the final two games of the series and now has eight since joining the squad in mid-July.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders have been striking out in droves. They went down on the K-ball 15 times on Friday and 50 times in the four-game series.

-Mike Hauschild devastated the ‘Riders on Friday and picked up eight strikeouts in four innings en route to his first save with the Hooks this season.

-For just the 13th time this season, the ‘Riders outhit their opponent, but lost the game.

-Nick Williams was the only ‘Rider to not reach base.

-Hanser Alberto extended his hitting streak to 13 with a single in the fourth. He finished 2-for-3 at the plate and tied his season-high with hits in 13 straight games.

-Frisco finished the seven-game road swing with a 4-3 record. The ‘Riders also finished their regular season road slate with a 39-30 record and posted an 18-14 record against the Hooks in 2014.

-Gallo: DNP

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. J.T. Wise (8)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Jorge Alfaro (4)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

The Texas League Post-Season All-Star talks about his leadership role in the clubhouse and the club’s recent downturn at the plate:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

‘Riders Pour It On In the Seventh


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.

In accordance with their recent modus operandi, the ‘Riders scored all their runs (a lot of them) in a single inning and guaranteed themselves a winning record on the seven-game road trip. Click here to read the full game recap.

The ‘Riders have contained all of their runs to one inning three times in the last six games. On August 23, Frisco posted a four-run eighth inning to knock off Midland 4-3. The following night, the RoughRiders followed the same script and scored five runs in the fifth as part of 5-2 defeat of Midland.

Star of the Game: C Jorge Alfaro – 2/5, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, GIDP

This one was tough given all the offensive accolades in the seventh inning. But Jorge’s fourth Double-A long ball gave the ‘Riders their first lead of the night and snapped a nasty 0-for-15 start to the road trip for the Colombian backstop.

In case you missed it:

-As hinted above, several other RoughRiders turned in strong nights at the dish, including:

  • Odubel Herrera: 3-for-5, R, 2B, RBI, 2 SO
  • J.T. Wise: 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SO
  • Nomar Mazara: 2-for-3, R, RBI, 2 HBP

-Mazara’s RBI single in the seventh got the ‘Riders on the board and was the team’s first run scored against a starting pitcher in 39 innings.

-The ‘Riders sent 12 men to the plate in the seventh inning and scored eight runs on eight hits. Mazara and Wise each registered multiple hits in the frame.

-Every RoughRider tallied a base hit.

-Corpus Christi left 13 men on base and outhit the ‘Riders 9-7.

-The eight runs in a single inning is a season-high for the RoughRiders.

-Hanser Alberto extended his hitting streak to 12 with an infield single in the fifth. He season-high is 13 straight games with a hit, which he set with Myrtle Beach.

-The ‘Riders have now won 78 games this season, which is a high-water mark in the managerial career of Jason Wood. The RoughRiders’ skipper had previously never won more than 77 games in a single season at the helm of a team. Frisco’s 5-4 win over Corpus Christi on Wednesday was also the 300th regular-season victory for Wood as a manger.

-Corpus Christi reliever David Rollins was one pitch away from an immaculate inning (nine pitches, three strikeouts) in the top of the ninth on Thursday. His 0-2 pitch with two outs plunked Mazara to end the possibility.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-3, R, IBB, HBP, 2 SO

Joey has now drawn four intentional walks with the RoughRiders, the most on the team.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. J.T. Wise (7)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Jorge Alfaro (4)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Pitching coach Jeff Andrews, the 2014 Mike Coolbaugh Coach of the Year in the Texas League, unveils the starting rotation for the ‘Riders in the playoffs.:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

A Tale of Two Halves


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.

Yes, I know a nine-inning baseball game is not bisected into halves (but give me a break, college football starts this weekend!). But Frisco’s 5-4 win over Corpus Christi in 11 innings on Wednesday read like a story with a part one and a part two. Click here to read Monday’s game recap.

Once again, the ‘Riders made a starting pitcher look like a minor league Cy Young. Last night, it was Jordan Jankowski, who allowed one hit and struck out ten in six innings. The streak of consecutive innings without a run scored against a starting arm is still active and stands at 33 straight frames going into Thursday’s action. The offensive slump sunk to further depths in the first half of Wednesday’s game as well. When the ‘Riders finally scored in the seventh inning (via a bases-loaded walk) it broke a streak of 28 innings without an earned run.

But after halftime (represented by a Corpus Christi pitching change), the ‘Riders came out of the locker room with a second wind. They scored three runs in the seventh. With one out in the top of the ninth, Joey Gallo delivered another clutch home run to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. The ‘Riders capitalized on two Telvin Nash blunders in the 11th to score the go-ahead run in extras. And Ryan Rodebaugh submitted his best outing of the season, tossing two scoreless innings to preserve the tie and protect the win. There’s no question the ‘Riders are batting at low tide right now, but they keep finding ways to eke out wins in tight situations.

Star of the Game: 1B Joey Gallo – 1/4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB

Joey had three RBI on the night, but he didn’t get ‘em all at once. He worked a walk with the bases loaded to put the ‘Riders on the board for the first time. He belted his 20th home run in the Texas League in the top of the ninth inning to up his season total to 41. Watch the video of the home run and the pitch from Mitchell Lambson was, unsurprisingly, right in Joey’s sweet spot (down and in). He produced a productive out in the 11th to drive in Patrick Cantwell for the second time in the game and give the ‘Riders a 5-4 lead. And, Joey did it all without a strikeout.

In case you missed it:

-Honorable mention goes to Ryan Rodebaugh, who tossed two innings in extras and allowed just one hit with one strikeout. He faced one above the minimum and produced his own win to move to 3-0 on the season.

-Will Lamb continues to provide thrills on the mound. In the bottom of the ninth, he issued three walks (one intentional) with the score tied at four, but managed to strike out Teoscar Hernandez looking at a fastball to end the inning and usher the game into extras.

-The RoughRiders scored five unanswered runs to cap the win.

-Corpus Christi left 13 men on base and outhit the ‘Riders 9-7.

-Hanser Alberto extended his hitting streak to 11 with his two-RBI single in the seventh inning.

-The ‘Riders clinched the season series against Corpus Christi and lead the Hooks 17-13 with two games remaining between the two sides in 2014.

-Gallo watch: See Above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. J.T. Wise (6)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Jorge Alfaro (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

With Guilder Rodriguez serving as translator, Francisco Mendoza joins the Pregame Show and talks about his pitching style and an accident that nearly cost him his baseball career:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Pitching Spectacular


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.

Fans of defense were treated to a classic last night. 2013 first overall choice Mark Appel looked every bit the part on Tuesday as he cranked out his most impressive outing as a member of the Astros organization. Click here to read Monday’s game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Jake Thompson – 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K

Appel was transcendent, but Jake was pretty darn good, too. The righty kept the ‘Riders in position to win the game and fortunately avoided a loss on his record. His ERA with Frisco now sits at 2.93.

In case you missed it:

-The bus-lagged RoughRiders turned in another sleepy offensive performance and registered just two hits and a total of five baserunners (three in the ninth).

-The ‘Riders have not scored against an opponent’s starting pitcher on this road trip (four games), a period of 27 innings.

-Hanser Alberto chased Appel from the game in the ninth inning when he led off the frame with a double. It extended Hanser’s hit streak to ten straight.

-Trever Adams went hitless in four at-bats and has gone consecutive games without a base knock for the first time in the second half.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-3, SO

Four batters in the lineup struck out multiple times on Tuesday. Joey was not a part of that club.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. J.T. Wise (6)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Jorge Alfaro (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Southpaw Joseph Ortiz chats about his recovery from a freak accident in the offseason and the joys of being a father for the first time. He also reflects on his season with the Rangers in 2013 and how he told his family of his promotion to the major leagues:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

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.
Joey Gallo impressing during his 2014 Double-A campaign.

Joey Gallo impressing during his 2014 Double-A campaign.

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.
J.T. Wise batting at home against the San Antonio Missions.

J.T. Wise batting at home against the San Antonio Missions.

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.

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