Results tagged ‘ Corpus Christi Hooks ’

Ballpark Bio: Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi)

IMG_3781

Today marks the first in a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Facts and Figures
Opened: April 17, 2005
Capacity: 7,050 (5,050 seats, plus 2,000 spots on the berms)
Dimensions: LF – 325, CF – 400, RF – 315

IMG_3794

The wall is only about 4 feet tall in the RF corner

> Of note: The height of the wall fluctuates quite a bit from pole to pole. In total, we counted at least six different wall heights on our way around the park. 


There’s a long list of features that make Whataburger Field a very unique and intriguing ballpark, both inside and outside the confines of the stadium. There’s a lot of charm here, and as you’ll find in this post and the ones to come, I’m all about charm when it comes to baseball parks.

On the inside, there’s a very intimate feel, with just a bit over 5,000 seats. There aren’t a ton of rows in each section, so just about every seat in the park gets you up close to the action. If you’d rather sprawl out on the grass, there are two berms in the outfield to meet your needs.

IMG_3800

It’s hard to find a bad view inside Whataburger Field

But there’s so much more than the game to enjoy when you come to a game in Corpus Christi. If you take a walk along the outfield concourse, you run into a wealth of other options and ways to stay entertained. For the kids, there’s a mini baseball field, a playground, a bouncy house, trampolines, a rock climbing wall, and a basketball court. In that way, it’s the perfect minor-league park, in that it serves baseball fans of all interest levels.

One of my favorite features in the park is the trio of cotton presses out past the left field wall. The site Whataburger Field is on used to be a cotton warehouse, and the presses in left field are the originals that used to be there. It adds an additional charm to the park, while also paying tribute to an industry that’s still important in this city. I’m always a fan of pieces like this. They’re very unique, and very meaningful at the same time. It reminds me a little of the warehouse that sits in the left-field corner at San Diego’s Petco Park.

IMG_3798

Part of the trio of cotton presses on the left field concourse

Outside the confines of the ballpark, there’s plenty more that adds to its charm. Most notably is the Harbor Bridge, which looms large well beyond the right-center field wall. Once darkness sets in, the bridge lights up, adding a nice spectacle to the game-viewing experience. I’ve caught myself on numerous occasions gazing up at the bridge and enjoying the free light show. It’s just too hard to resist.

And, of course, there’s the harbor that the bridge runs across. You can’t see a ton of the Corpus Christi Bay from the park, but some of it is visible over the left field wall. It’s also fun to watch the cargo ships come and go over the course of nine innings. Growing up in Seattle, I always loved having the trains pass by Safeco Field and hearing their horns blast as they passed the park. It’s very similar here, and it’s yet another nice touch to the park. And you can’t forget the seagulls, either. They’re all over the place, and they add to the maritime vibe around the park.

On top of all that, the Hooks draw good, energetic crowds. Overall, it makes for a great experience when you come to Whataburger Field, blending an intimate baseball-viewing experience with sights, sounds and smells that you won’t find in many other parks.

IMG_3803

At night, the illumination on the Harbor Bridge adds yet another spectacle to an already-beautiful park

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming from ONEOK Field in Tulsa next month, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Hookworm League – A derisive nickname for spring training played in the southeastern United States, a region with a prevalence for the hookworm parasite.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

‘Riders Rewind – June 22

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 reached the end of an exhausting 12-day road trip at long last on Sunday. Click here to read the full game recap.

Star of the Game: CF Teodoro Martinez – 1/3, R, HR, RBI, SO

Teo blasted his second home run of the season and accounted for all the scoring in the 4-1 loss on Sunday. Through 44 games this season, the Venezuelan holds a .298 batting average (45-for-151) with 15 runs, six doubles and 23 RBI.

In case you missed it:

The Texas League All-Star Game took place at Dickey-Stephens Field in North Little Rock, Arkansas on June 24. The RoughRiders sent a league-high ten players to compete in the game. The North defeated the South 3-1 in a pitching-oriented affair. Find out how the ‘Riders performed below:

-LF Jake Smolinski: 1/4, SO

-3B Ryan Rua: 0/4, Home Run Derby Champion

  • Rua blasted a total of 16 home runs (eight in each round)

-DH/C Tomás Telis: 0/4

-PH Odubel Herrera: 1/1

-2B Guilder Rodriguez: 0/2, 2SO

-RHP Luke Jackson (starter): 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 3BF

-RHP Alec Asher: 1.0IP, R, 2H, 5BF, WP

-RHP Phil Klein: DNP

-LHP Edwar Cabrera: DNP

-2B Rougned Odor: DNP

 

Here is Jason Wood’s most recent “Sunday with the Skipper” segment on the final day of the marathon 12-day road trip:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – June 21

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 roll into the final game before the All-Star break on the strength of a 3-0 win over the Corpus Christi Hooks. Click here to read the full game recap.

Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 1/4, R, HR, 3RBI, 2K

Gallo homered for the second straight night and in seven career games against the Hooks, the mammoth slugger has gone deep four times. Corpus Christi starting pitcher Mike Hauschild carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning when the RoughRiders opened the inning with a pair of singles from Patrick Cantwell and Trever Adams, respectively. That brought Gallo to the plate, and on the first pitch from Hauschild, he deposited the offering on the right-center field berm for the only three runs of the game for either side.

Through 12 games with Frisco, Gallo posts a .279 batting average  (12-for-43) with ten runs, one double, six home runs and 14 runs driven in. He has drawn nine walks and has struck out 20 times.

In case you missed it:

-Frisco recorded all of their runs and hits in a single inning (the seventh). Corpus Christi outhit the ‘Riders 7-3 and Frisco left just one man on base in the game.

-The Hooks’ best chance to score came in the fifth inning with runners on the corners and one out. A poor bunt by Ruben Sosa enabled Alec Asher to field an throw home where Tomás Telis tagged out Tyler Heineman for a crucial second out.

-Corpus Christi relief pitcher Alex Sogard tossed one shutout inning against the RoughRiders in the ninth. Sogard’s older brother, Eric, is an infielder for the Oakland A’s.

-Cantwell spoiled Hauschild’s no-no in the seventh inning. The backstop also tarnished the perfect game when he drew a walk in the fourth. Through the first six frames, Cantwell was Frisco’s only baserunner.

-Phil Klein moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Texas League with his tenth save of the season.

-The 3-0 final score marked the eighth time Frisco has shut out an opponent. The ‘Riders are 8-3 in shutouts this season.

Be sure to catch this interview with Corpus Christi interim pitching coach Doug Brocail. Rangers fans may remember Brocail during his time in Arlington from 2004-2005. He shares some lighter moments of his career on the Pregame Show:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

Scouting the South Division

13701235015_f4eeccf4e6_b

By: Jay Wallis and Chris Vosters

With June upon us, the race for the first-half division title in the Texas League is in full swing. Frisco reaches the season’s midway point on June 16 against the Midland RockHounds. The ‘Riders are in the midst of a pivotal eight-game homestand and will play out the final six games of the first half on the road.

The RoughRiders entered the month atop the south division, but with all three division rivals in hot pursuit. Every team owns a winning record, which makes the playoff hunt a four-way chase. Let’s spotlight Frisco’s competition down the stretch.

San Antonio: They may have gotten off to a sluggish start in the beginning of the year, but the Missions have really picked up their level of play of late. After falling seven games below .500 in mid-May, San Antonio has since then jumped right back in the playoff hunt thanks to sustained pitching and improved hitting. As a team, the Missions hold the best ERA in the Texas League (2.99) while their closer, Johnny Barbato, leads the league in saves (15). This exceptional pitching has been present for the majority of the season but the hitting hasn’t always been comparable. However, with the emergence of outfielders Rymer Liriano and Yeison Asencio, who was named Texas League Player of the Week for May 19-25, the bats are finally making some noise. If the Missions can continue to improve at the plate during the second half of the season, they could give the ‘Riders trouble, especially since San Antonio is the only team Frisco doesn’t have a winning record against.

Midland: Out of the four Texas League teams in the south division, the RockHounds got off to the best start and held the divisional lead at the end of April. Josh Whitaker and Max Muncy both are Texas League leaders in multiple batting categories and have been the catalyst for Midland’s offense. During a four-game series with the RoughRiders in early May, though, they lost three of four and handed over their position atop the south to the ‘Riders. In addition to losing the series, Muncy suffered a lacerated finger in the second game, causing the first baseman to miss the next 17 games and put a hole in his team’s lineup. The RockHounds ended up losing 17 of 30 games in May, creating more of a gap between the ‘Riders and their competition. If Muncy can regain his confidence at the plate that he has yet to recapture since returning from the DL, it should provide a substantial spark for Midland’s offense moving forward.

Corpus Christi: The ‘Riders have handled the Hooks in 8-of-12 meetings this season. However, the teams’ four remaining meetings before the end of the first half take place under the lights of Whataburger Field. While some teams undergo hot streaks and cold spells, the Hooks’ calling card is their consistency: the Astros’ Double-A affiliate finished 14-12 in April and 15-14 in May. In both pitching and hitting, the Hooks rank in the top half of the Texas League. The ‘Riders hope to avoid damage from Corpus Christi’s Preston Tucker, a seventh round draft choice in 2012. The slugger is batting .319 against the Frisco this season with six doubles and two home runs. The 6-foot, 200-pound lefty ranks near the top of the Texas League in a multitude of categories, namely home runs, RBI, hits and doubles.

Frisco faces a daunting task, but it is important for the RoughRiders and their fans to remember the traits that placed the ‘Riders in a strong position to clinch a postseason berth: a winning record at home, contributions throughout the batting order and strong team chemistry. If the team adheres to that formula, fans can look forward to postseason baseball at Dr Pepper Ballpark come September.

‘Riders Rewind – Mother’s Day

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.

Highlights from the back-and-forth Mother’s Day affair between Frisco and Corpus Christi. ‘Riders prevailed 7-5. The game featured three ties and four lead changes. Click here to read the full game recap.

At age 17, Michael De Leon (pictured above) became the youngest player in franchise history to play in a RoughRiders game. The infielder from the Dominican Republic doubled softly down the left field line, scored a run and turned the game-winning double play. Not too shabby a start.

In his final game as a RoughRider, Chris Grayson had three base hits, a double, a run scored and another driven home. Grayson received news of his assignment to Advanced-A Myrtle Beach after the game.

Also, congratulations to Ryan Bores on his first career win at the Double-A level. The righty from Ohio pitched the final two innings and allowed one run on three hits and one walk.

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 10

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.

Frisco dropped the first game in their series with Corpus Christi 5-1 on Saturday night. The RoughRiders wore their pink jerseys for the second straight night and finished 1-1 in the rosy outfits. Click here to read the full game recap.

The ‘Riders fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of Joe Saunders’ second rehab appearance. The game turned in the third when Jake Smolinski grounded out to short. Smolinski hit the ball sharply to the edge of the infield and appeared to beat out a long throw from Corpus Christi shortstop Jio Mier.

First base umpire Ryan Simmons did not see the call that way, however, and an enraged Smolinski was ejected from the game. He was joined by his field manager, Jason Wood, not long after. The ‘Riders would have potentially had runners on first and second with one out, but the call took the wind out of the proverbial sails as the ‘Riders left 13 men stranded on Saturday.

The team has already clinched a winning record on the eight-game homestand, which concludes on Mother’s Day afternoon against the Hooks. Coverage starts 1:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com.

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 8

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.

On a soggy, cool night at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the RoughRiders took the series opener from the Corpus Christi Hooks, 5-3. Click here to read the full game recap.

Thursday’s game marked the first time the ‘Riders lineup did not include either Rougned Odor or Luis Sardinas. For at least one night, their absence did not rain too heavily on the offensive output (as it seemed the weather would inititially.)

In addition to a red-hot Tomás Telis, the bottom of the order generated considerable momentum on Thursday night. Teodoro Martinez, Jake Skole and Edwin Garcia batted a combined 6-for-11 at the dish and scored three runs.

The ‘Riders moved to 4-1 on the current homestand and can clinch a winning record for the eight-game stretch with win over Corpus Christi Friday night. Coverage starts 6:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com.

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

The Case for Brett Nicholas, Texas League Player of the Year

8666446276_e9b9971773_h

Odds are against ‘Riders first baseman Brett Nicholas, but he deserves consideration for the league’s Player of the Year Award

The ballots are in. The counters are at work, tabulating the totals. Hopefully it won’t come down to the definition and value of a hanging chad. (UPDATE: Corpus Christi’s George Springer has won the award)

Yesterday, Alex and I, along with others around the league, were asked to turn in our votes for the Texas League Postseason All-Star team, Player of the Year award winner, Pitcher of the Year selection and Manager of the Year candidate. The awards are expected to be announced today.

The only stipulation in the voting was that you could not vote for players on your team, so, neither Alex nor I could vote for RoughRiders players. The voting included a ballot filled with the following positions: 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C, 3 OF and 6 pitchers. There were two columns: one for “1st Team” and another for “2nd team.” So that means we could vote for two 1B, two 2B (etc).

While it was time-consuming and thought-provoking, save for a few players, I thought selecting this season’s Texas League All-Stars was not too difficult. While there are a few deserving candidates, it didn’t take long to pen down David Martinez for Pitcher of the Year in the circuit. As for Manager of the Year, that one was rather easy for me as well.

Then we came to Player of the Year.

The Candidates

So, should I vote for Anthony Aliotti?

The Midland first baseman spent around two thirds of the season crushing Texas League pitching to the tune of a .350 average, .452 on-base percentage and .993 OPS–all league highs, and with enough plate appearances to qualify, Aliotti will finish first in all three of these categories. He has really struggled at Triple-A, but that should not matter. This is Texas League Player of the Year.

George Springer, MiLB.com

George Springer, MiLB.com

What about George Springer? He has to be the favorite for all-around Minor League Player of the Year. He is three home runs away for the elite 40 home run / 40 stolen base club, which has happened only four times in major league history (Jose Canseco 1988, Barry Bonds 1996, Alex Rodriguez 1998, Alfonso Soriano 2006–three former Texas Rangers coincidentally enough). It hasn’t happened in the minor leagues, where the season slate is fewer games (140) since 1956 when Len Tucker accomplished the feat. He is first in minor league baseball in home runs (37), tied for fourth in RBI (105), tied for 20th in steals (43) and fourth in OPS among players with 300+ ABs. He is also accomplishing these feats despite zero time above Advanced-A ball before this year.

Neither player spent even close to the entire season in the league. Springer played 73 games, while Aliotti notched 91. Neither player will finish in the top 5 in home runs or RBI, and depending on how the season finishes, Springer could drop out of the top 5 in stolen bases (23), while Aliotti could lose his spot at #5 in doubles (29).

I searched desperately for a candidate that played 100 or more games in the league (an arbitrary number, I know), that could live up to the play of these two fine ballplayers.

How about Matt Fields of Northwest Arkansas? He will likely capture the home run crown; he has 31 and a six home run edge of second place. But Fields is hitting just .227, plays a non-premium defensive position (first base), and leads the league with 175 strikeouts in 124 games.

Xavier Scruggs? The Springfield first baseman is second in home runs (25), just outside the top 5 in RBI (74), fourth in league in OPS (.853) and leads the league in walks (81). While the resume is an impressive one, a .246 average, more than a strikeout per game, and the opportunity to play lowly Northwest Arkansas 32 times really hurt his cause for me (he hit .313 with six of his 25 homers against the last place Naturals).

Anthony Aliotti, (Edyta Blaszczyk/Odessa American)

Anthony Aliotti, (Edyta Blaszczyk/Odessa American)

Then I got to Brett Nicholas. Of course, I couldn’t vote for Nicholas since he is a ‘Rider. The Frisco first baseman is going to finish the season with the most games played and likely have the highest RBI total (he is first today). His .299 average is fourth in the TL, and is first among active Texas League players. He is first in hits, third in slugging (second active), first in total bases, fourth in runs, and, in comparison to other power hitters in the league, does not strike out very often. Of course in many more games than Springer and Aliotti, he has more hits, runs, home runs and RBI than the leading two candidates. If I could have voted for Nicholas, I might have. It would have been a tough call.

Full disclosure here, I voted for Springer.

His dominance while in the Texas League as well his team’s capturing a playoff spot before his departure outweighed, in my opinion, his smaller gross totals in comparison to Scruggs, or Crumbliss, or Fields, and his speed and elite defense pushed him past Aliotti for me.

There are no criteria listed with this award; it is left up to the voter to decide what factors should go into Player of the Year. This is, in my opinion, a rather fruitless effort to argue over the number of games required for consideration, the value of defense and speed, ballpark factors (hitters’ park vs pitchers’ park), competition of the weighted divisional schedule, etc. Ultimately, when there are no rules, the voter must make these decisions themselves, and arguing over the value of each of these factors is often one without much movement. People’s minds are hard to change on topics like this.

What is important is that any voter at least consider these criteria when making their selection; how to balance them is up to the individual.

Assuming you are with me at this point, here are the raw numbers of the three players:

Tm Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
Nicholas – Frisco TEX 129 543 479 70 143 24 3 21 89 2 1 42 115 .299 .363 .493 .855 236
Aliotti – Midland OAK 91 409 340 49 119 29 0 12 51 3 2 66 83 .350 .452 .541 .993 184
Springer – Corpus Christi HOU 73 323 273 56 81 20 0 19 55 23 5 42 96 .297 .399 .579 .978 158

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 8/27/2013.

I will run through a few of the perhaps more overlooked factors that might shed some light on the worthiness of Nicholas for the league’s highest honor.

Nicholas is the only one with enough games/at bats

For the record, I also think Springer will win the award. Which is astounding.

Since the inception of the award in 1931, only two position players have ever won the award with less than 100 games played. Kila Kaʻaihue of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals won the award in 2008 when and he launched 26 homers and hit .314 over 91 games, and another Royals prospect, Mike Moustakas, took home the hardware in his 66 game season in 2010 when he left the circuit with an 1.100 OPS with 21 homers and a .347 average. He also plays a decent third base in the majors, so I imagine he was above average man at the hot corner in his time in the Texas League.

Five pitchers have won the award: Tim Leary (1980), Bob Muncrief (1940), Dizzy Trout (1938), Harold (Ash) Hillin (1937), Dizzy Dean (1931). Only Trout didn’t spend his entire award-winning season in the TL. He pitched 37 times in the Texas League and in five games for Double-A Toledo in the American Association. Proportionally speaking, he made 88% of his outings in the Texas League, which would be quite a bit more than 100 games by a position player standard.

Even if Aliotti wins the award it would be pretty remarkable. Granted the two players to break the mold have done so in the last 10 years, when seemingly voters might be a bit more prospect-conscious and mid-season promotions are more common, but history is still very much against it.

Nicholas is not in a great hitting environment

Comparing the three players, Alliotti, Nicholas and Springer, it seems that Nicholas is likely in the toughest spot to produce. Mark Eddy of BaseballAmerica.com looked at park factors at the start of this season, and Dr Pepper Ballpark ranked as the fifth best hitter’s park in the eight team league. Midland was third. Corpus Christi ranked fourth:

Citibank Ballpark - Midland, Texas

Citibank Ballpark – Midland, Texas

Rates Per Park, 2010-12
Team R/G H/G HR/G PF-R
Northwest Arkansas 10.86 19.00 1.90 1.132
Springfield 10.09 18.14 2.35 1.019
Midland 9.95 19.19 1.12 1.023
Corpus Christi 9.39 17.97 1.76 1.023
Frisco 8.98 17.20 1.77 0.994
Tulsa 8.75 16.98 2.01 0.995
San Antonio 8.29 16.70 1.21 0.928
Arkansas 7.67 15.64 1.00 0.902

Launching Pad: Springfield, 2.35 HR/G (No. 6)
Graveyard: Arkansas, 1.00 HR/G (No. 106)
Hit Parade: Midland, 19.19 H/G (No. 11)
Pitcher’s Park: Arkansas, 7.67 R/G (No. 4)

(table and statistics from BaseballAmerica.com)

The ‘Riders’ home park is also much harder on left-handed batters, where the power-alley to right-center field is much futher than left-center (383 ft vs. 364 ft) and the WinStar Diamond Deck in left creates a Home Run Porch of sorts in straightaway left field.

mZlVWjRD

Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, Texas

Whataburger Field - Corpus Christi, Texas

Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, Texas

Additionally, there is the concept of lineup protection. By all accounts, the Midland RockHounds and Corpus Christi Hooks have created more protection for Springer and Aliotti than the ‘Riders have for Nicholas this season. Here is how the offenses stack up:


Team R/gm HR AVG OBP OPS
Corpus 4.63 150 .254 .331 .745
Midland 4.88 94 .254 .336 .726
Frisco 4.16 108 .246 .297 .672

Here is a similar table, only taking account team performance while the player in question was on the team’s roster (Aliotti was promoted on July 18, Springer on June 26):


Team Games R/gm HR/gm AVG OBP OPS
Corpus 76 4.84 1.08 .255 .331 .745
Midland 95 4.83 0.76 .258 .340 .737
Frisco 133 4.16 0.81 .246 .297 .672

Now of course these players account for part of the production, but that is true across the board. Springer and Aliotti were more production on a daily basis than Nicholas, but not enough to account for the disparities between the offenses on a whole.

Nicholas doesn’t play a premium defensive position

Or does he? That ‘Riders everyday first baseman is not really that–an everyday first baseman. He has logged 12 games at catcher, and likely would have more if the ‘Riders had a bit more flexibility at first base.

Other than rehabbers, only Guilder Rodriguez has logged more than one game at first base outside of Nicholas (18 games), and Rodriguez has been needed to spell off days for other infielders as well. Because of this, Nicholas has not been able to log as much time at catcher as he might have otherwise. More starts at catcher would certainly make his candidacy a little stronger.

Springer plays elite defense in center field. Your eyes will tell you that. The scouts will tell you that, and I am sure, when he makes the majors, the sabermetricians will crunch numbers that tell us the same. It is part of the reason I voted for Springer over Aliotti.

Nicholas’ ability at catcher should not be overlooked. He still considers himself a catcher and, defensively, has been pretty darn good at the position. Here is how he stacks up in a few key categories with the two primary Frisco catchers, Tomas Telis and Zach Zaneski:


Name Games Catcher ERA Games/PB SB ATT/gm CS%
Nicholas 12 3.61 12 1.33 0.375
Telis 78 3.51 6.5 0.94 0.324
Zaneski 43 3.77 10.75 1.37 0.305

While this unlikely puts him ahead of Springer, I think it has to put him in front of Aliotti, and at least boost his candidacy. When considering MVP/POTY type awards, many will only focus on the offense of a first baseman, assuming that even an elite defensive first baseman is not adding a ton of value. I think that is an unfair determination in the case of Nicholas.

Conclusion

I would be shocked if Springer or Aliotti doesn’t win the award. In fact, I would be pretty astounded if Springer doesn’t win it, but if he is faulted for his 73 games played, it’s hard to imagine it won’t go to Aliotti.

I don’t even know if Brett Nicholas truly deserves the award, but I have a feeling many voters simply weighed the value of Aliotti’s 18 extra games against the incredible production of George Springer, decided how much that would count against Springer, and then called it a day.

Nicholas likely didn’t get the credit his season deserved. He has without question been the Player of the Year for the Frisco RoughRiders, and maybe even the Player of the Year in the Rangers minor league system, and he deserves at least a thoughtful discussion for Player of the Year in his circuit.

– Nathan

Baseball term of the day: cloud-hunter – a ball batted high in the air

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Another wild night in Corpus Christi

Earlier this season, on April 18, the Hooks and the RoughRiders played the longest-inning game in ‘Riders history with 17 innings.  Frisco won that game 4-2 as Guilder Rodriguez picked up his first career win in his third career mound appearance.

Last night, the ‘Riders rallied from down seven runs against the Corpus Christi Hooks at the end of the fourth and then began a comeback in the sixth, and tying the up in the ninth to take the game to extra innings.  Frisco wound up falling 8-7 in the 16th, but not before two ‘Riders position players took the mound.

The Game:

-Last night was the longest in recorded RoughRiders history.  Game time last night was 5 hours and 16 minutes, the longest of the season.  The last 5-hour game recorded for the RoughRiders was in 2006 with a 5:05 time (records aren’t available for the 2003 and 2004 seasons)

-Corpus Christi scored in the first with a solo home run by Erik Castro.  Castro also scored the winning run off a wild pitch by right-fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang in the 16th.

-‘Riders starter Kevin Pucetas faced eight men in the fourth and only retired two and Phil Klein walked all four batters he faced.  Alex Claudio got Frisco out of the 12-batter bottom of the fourth trailing 7-0.

-Hooks starter Ross Seaton took a no-hitter through five before Hanser Alberto broke it up with a two-out double.

-In his final inning in the sixth, Seaton allowed an RBI double off the bat of Brett Nicholas, which put Frisco on the board at 7-1.  Off the Hooks bullpen, the RoughRiders scored a run in the seventh, two in the eighth and trailed by three runs to begin the ninth.

-Hanser Alberto singled to lead off the ninth. Odubel Herrera then doubled him home, and Ryan Strausborger launched his eighth home run of the season, a two-run blast to tie the game at 7-7.  The comeback tied the longest by the team this season.

-It took nearly an entire game for another score.  The Hooks’ bullpen combined to limit the ‘Riders to no runs on five hits and one walk over the final eight innings.  After the six-run fourth inning, Alex Claudio, Randy Henry, Lisalverto Bonilla, Jimmy Reyes, and then catcher Zach Zaneski put together 11 scoreless innings.

Position players on the mound

Frisco has only played two other games this season in which a position player has taken over on the mound, both times utility infielder Guilder Rodriguez was the go-to. Rodriguez  is 1-0 in his appearances this season.

Zach Zaneski

‘Riders catcher Zach Zaneski made his his first professional pitching appearance in last night’s battle.  He went three scoreless innings with two strikeouts and allowed just two hits and a walk.

Zach threw an impressive three frames which included the fastball and slider,  and the stadium radar gun topped at 91 mph.

Watch here as Zaneski records one of his first career strikeouts

Zaneski_1

Zaneski_2

Chih-Hsien Chiang

Right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang came on for the 16th in his pitching debut as well. Chiang allowed one hit, two walks and gave up the winning run off a wild pitch with two outs, suffering the loss.

Chiang

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Leave the bench swinging – A batter who comes to the plate ready to swing at whatever pitch is delivered.

Pat Lobb Magic Swing promotion makes ‘Riders fan a winner

With one powerful swing of the bat, Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Frisco gave away a brand new 2013 Jeep Wrangler to a lucky Frisco RoughRiders fan at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Friday night.  Jana Tucker, a Frisco resident, was the lucky winner of the Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Magic Swing Promotion.

“I heard the crack of the bat and then closed my eyes-I was so freaked out,” Jana said.  “My hands started shaking, my knees went out from beneath me.  I couldn’t believe it.”

Magic Swing 6.14_1

Mark and Jana after the winning magic swing

The promotion awards the contestant with a brand new Jeep Wrangler if the RoughRiders hit a home run on the first swing of the bat during the bottom of the fifth inning.  That is exactly what ‘Riders All-Star catcher Tomas Telis did with the first offering from Jorge De Leon in the bottom of the fifth.

“I didn’t think the ball would go over the fence,” said Mark McEachern, a representative from Pat Lobb.  “I didn’t see it go over.  I just saw the crowd’s reaction.  I turned and looked at Jana and she looked at me like, ‘That just happened!”

The Venezuelan backstop, who had clubbed just two home runs in 40 games played this season, launched the first pitch of the inning onto the grass berm over the left-center field fence. The home run gave Frisco a 2-0 lead in an eventual 3-2 extra-innings loss against the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Magic Swing 6.14_3

”What a night for that to happen; [Ian] Kinsler [rehabbing] at second, the big Friday night crowd, the post-game fireworks-the atmosphere was just electric,” Mark said.

Steven Nelson, Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships with the RoughRiders has been working in sports now for around ten years in the Frisco area and says this is the most exciting thing he’s ever seen.

“When the swing of the bat happened and I saw the ball go off, I thought ‘please have enough to just go over the wall,” said Steven.  “I almost felt like I won the Jeep.”

This is only the third game this season that Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has given a local fan the chance to take home a brand new Jeep Wrangler, and the Frisco RoughRiders hope for more winners to come in the future.

“Thank you to the family and thank you to Pat Lobb. We are really excited for the partnership and look forward to continuing it for years to come,” Nelson said.

Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Frisco just opened their doors in May, 2013. A part of the Pat Lobb Auto Group, the nearly 60,000 square foot facility is the premier Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in North Texas.

“It’s been an exciting promotion for Pat Lobb all season long,” said Mark.  “We’re excited to have this promotion and to be a part of the Frisco community.  We look forward to carrying the relationship forward with Dr Pepper Ballpark and the Frisco RoughRiders.”

Jana Tucker and her family have been to a number of games, and have attended two this season. “Thank you to Pat Lobb and the RoughRiders. We will definitely be going to more ‘Riders games in the future.”

Magic Swing 6.14_2

You could be next! Click here for your chance to win!

-Ryan

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers