Results tagged ‘ Dr Pepper Ballpark ’

Riders Reflections, part four: Favorite theme night

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out. Click here to read previous posts.

Today, we look back at our favorite theme nights this year at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

STEVE: Salute to Top Gun Night (June 24)


Of all the theme nights, Salute to Top Gun Night stood out to me. The flight-suit-inspired uniforms were top-notch, and the players were introduced by their flight call signs.

The graphics at the ballpark that night were very impressive, and I loved the teaser video earlier in the week leading up to the event. Take a look:

Of course, the night would not have been complete without a large dose of the Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”. The song was stuck in my head throughout the entire next day!

Overall, Salute to Top Gun Night was a very well-done night of fun at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and it was definitely one of my favorite theme nights this year.

NATHAN: State Fair of Texas Night (September 2)


From the moment the RoughRiders announced 8-bit and Arcades Night with Game Boy inspired uniforms, I was pretty sure that it would be my favorite promotional night of the year. And it was awesome. I even bought one of the uniforms.

It held the top spot for me until last night.

State Fair of Texas Night was a home run. I thought the uniforms looked tremendous.

The game experience reeked of the State Fair in the best way possible. You could smell the bubbling hot oil, the funnel cakes, and the fried cookie dough, courtesy of “Fried Jesus,” Abel Gonzalez Jr.

The former voice of Big Tex served as the guest public address announcer for the night, and he was fantastic. Nearly every PA read began with “Howdy folks,” in true Big Tex style. Being introduced as “The Voice of the Riders” by Big Tex is a career highlight. Bravo marketing team!

RYAN: Salute to 8-bit and Arcades Night (July 8)


When I look back on this season, the night I’ll remember most in 8-bit and Arcades Night, but not necessarily because of the scheduled events.

As you might remember, that was the night after the tragic shootings of five Dallas police officers in downtown. The folks in the front office did a great job of coming together quickly to properly show support and sympathy for those affected by the tragic events of the night before. The Riders wore Dallas PD caps that night (and wore DART hats the next day during BP) and donated the proceeds from the 8-bit jersey auction to the Assist the Officer Foundation. Between the auctions and other fundraising that weekend at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the Riders raised more than $30,000 for the Assist the Officer Foundation.

Beyond the amazing work of the Riders’ front office to pay tribute to the victims, the other thing that stands out about that night was that the Riders still followed through with the events of 8-bit and Arcades Night, helping lighten the mood a bit in a time of sadness.

It was one of the more emotional nights of the year, and the main reason I’ll remember July 8 is because it brought the community together and gave the folks of the DFW area a chance to honor the victims, while also having a little bit of fun.


PART ONE (Wednesday): Breakout player

PART TWO (Thursday): Best single-game performance by an individual

PART THREE (Friday): Favorite pregame interview

PART FOUR (Saturday): Favorite promo night at Dr Pepper Ballpark

PART FIVE (Sunday): Favorite game

PART SIX (Monday): Our final thoughts on the 2016 season


Baseball term of the day: Torpedero – Spanish for “shortstop”

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Meet the mastermind behind the headshots

Head shot 1

Themed player headshots, such as this one from Superhero Night, are part of what make theme nights at Dr Pepper Ballpark fun.

There’s plenty to be excited about with Ghostbusters Tribute Night looming this evening, including an appearance from Ernie Hudson. While I’m excited to see all that takes place on the field and around the ballpark tonight, my attention will be heavily directed at the video board. Why, you ask? I’m excited to see what creative headshots Garret Young has put together for us all to enjoy tonight.

YoungYoung is the Manager of Game Presentation for the RoughRiders, which includes being the man in charge of making these visual masterpieces. He doesn’t just make standard headshots, though. He’s also in charge of creating graphics for special nights, such as this evening’s Ghostbusters Tribute Night.

He says he begins planning special headshots about a week in advance, and that planning has yielded some great ideas and designs. Often, the most entertaining shots are those for the visiting team. Opposing players are presented in a way that cleverly contrasts the theme of the night (for example, superimposing visiting player faces on cats for Bark in the Park nights, or incorporating opposing players into cartoon-like drawings of airplanes for Salute to Top Gun Night).

As for his favorite set of designs this year?

“I really enjoyed doing Father’s Day [headshots] and…putting Corpus Christi in different dad poses, like mowing the lawn, lounging on the couch, washing the car, doing woodwork with a Prius in the background. Those would be my favorite.”

Head shot 2

One of the opposing headshots from Father’s Day.

For the record, those were my favorite, too. Although it’s hard to pick a clear-cut favorite, since they’re all so entertaining in their own distinct way.

Young and his team are still putting the finishing touches on tonight’s headshots, but I have no doubt you’ll enjoy what you see on the board tonight. I know I will.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Ghost runner – Not a real baserunner, employed in playground baseball and variations of softball, when there is an insufficient number of players or when it is a baserunner’s turn to bat again.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs San Antonio (4/25/16)

GAME #16
Frisco RoughRiders (11-4) vs San Antonio Missions (8-8)
Monday, April 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Audio: Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Watch: MiLB.TV (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here

Ryan Cordell is the first Minor League player to hit two grand slams in 2016.

Ryan Cordell was named Texas League Player of the Week today

This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 1 of 32


  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Chris Gimenez – C
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Garrett Weber – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Preston Beck – RF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

LHP Frank Lopez (1-0, 4.11)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Corpus Christi (L, 3-2)

Box Score
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)


Sunday’s RoughRiders game was postponed due to wet grounds…On Saturday, for the fourth straight game, the Riders scored in the first inning, plating two runs on RYAN CORDELL’s fourth homer of the year. However, they didn’t score the rest of the way, and fell by a score of 3-2. The Hooks got runs off starter VICTOR PAYANO in the first and third innings, before scoring the go-ahead run in unearned fashion in the fifth inning against reliever JOSE LECLERC. Riders pitching (Payano, Leclerc and MATT BUSH) held Corpus Christi to just three hits in the game but still came out on the losing side.


The RoughRiders won nine of their first 10 games this season, marking the best 10-game start in team history. At 11-4, the RoughRiders are one game off the pace of the 2008 squad for the best start in the 14-year history of the franchise. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.


RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in slugging (.702), doubles (7), extra-base hits (11), RBI (18), and runs (14). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (10) than singles (7).


Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producting consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides a 10-game hitting streak into tonight’s game, and has been on-base in all 15 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest active streaks. Dating back to the final three games last season, he’s reached base in 18 straight contests.


Entering play tonight, the Riders are tied for second in Texas League with 29 doubles. 11 of Frisco’s 13 hitters already have a double this year, and seven of them have multiple two-baggers.


After starting the season 4-for-26, ZACH CONE has 7 hits in his last 19 at-bats, including 4 extra-base hits and 7 RBI. He has driven in at least one run in four of the last six games. Cone went 3-for-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI in Tuesday’s loss to Arkansas.


With their win Thursday night, the RoughRiders have yet to lose a series-opening game in five tries this season. Frisco has won four of its first five series, including two sweeps.


Early on, the Riders had trouble scoring early in games. 25 of the 34 runs they scored over their first seven games came in the sixth inning or later. But in their last seven games, 35 of their 40 runs have come within the first five innings.


After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have scored 12 in the last four games, including five on Friday.


While almost every facet of the RoughRiders team has been clicking early on, the bullpen has been especially strong for the Riders. Over the past 11 games, the ‘pen has allowed just six earned runs in the last 47 2/3 innings (1.13 ERA). Over that stretch, relievers have allowed just 23 hits and 23 walks (0.97 WHIP), while striking out 41.


Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied four four-run innings, three five-run frames and a six-spot. Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed one run of more than two innings (4, 4/19/16 vs Arkansas).


After a rough season series against the Hooks in 2015 (9-23), the RoughRiders won their first series against Corpus Christi this season. The last time that the RoughRiders won a series against the Hooks was July 15-18, 2015.



The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 46-22 (.676), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters today at 14-4, Class-A Hickory is 11-7, and Triple-A Round Rock is 9-7. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by’s Jim Callis.

Saddle Up: Riders vs Northwest Arkansas (4/14/16)

Frisco RoughRiders (5-1) vs Northwest Arkansas Naturals (3-3)
Thursday, April 14 – 7;05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Audio: Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Watch: MiLB.TV (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 4 of 12 (Riders lead, 3-0)


  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  2. Ryan Cordell – RF
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Zach Cone – LF
  6. Preston Beck – DH
  7. Alberto Triunfel – 2B
  8. Luis Mendez – 3B
  9. Luis Marte – SS

LHP Frank Lopez (1-0, 0.00)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at Arkansas (L, 6-3)

Box Score
Game Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)


For the first time this season, the RoughRiders lost a contest, falling 6-3 to the Arkansas Travelers in North Little Rock on Tuesday afternoon.  The Travs put a pair of runs in the first and third and another in the fourth on starter JOSE LECLERC, chasing him after just four innings. The Riders broke the shutout in the seventh, when ZACH CONE singled in LEWIS BRINSON to make it 6-1. Frisco added two more in the eighth. The loss was Frisco’s first of the year.


The Rough Riders started the year 5-0,  before dropping the series finale at Arkansas Tuesday morning.  The 5-1 start is tied with the 2008 squad for the best start in team history. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with a 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.


While almost every facet of the RoughRiders team is clicking right now, the bullpen is in the midst of a particularly impressive stretch. Over the past three games, the pen has allowed just one  run (17 1/3 innings). Over that stretch, the relievers have allowed just nine hits and five walks, while striking out 10.


Though struggling against starting pitchers this season, Riders bats have heated up once the starter leaves the game.Opposing bullpens have a 5.84 ERA against the Riders this year (16 ER/24.2 IP), while starters hold just a 3.06 ERA (11 ER/32.1 IP).


Early on, multi-hit games have been a trend throughout the Riders lineup. Eight different players have registered a multi-hit game in 2016, led by four from LEWIS BRINSONRYAN CORDELLJOE JACKSON, and RONALD GUZMAN each have three multi-hit contests.


One of the big reasons for Frisco’s early success has been cashing in on opportunities with runners in scoring position. The RoughRiders lead the Texas League in average with RISP (.404). Northwest Arkansas, the second-best team in that category, is considerably behind Frisco (.275).


Nomar Mazara (MLB Pipeline No. 3 prospect, Riders ’14-15) made history in his first start with the Rangers. The 20-year-old outfielder became the youngest player to ever record three hits in his Major League debut. Mazara singled in his first two at-bats before smacking a solo homer off 11-year veteran Jered Weaver.


Nomar Mazara wasn’t the only former Rider to get called up to the Majors last week. The Rangers purchased the contract of Brett Nicholas (Riders ’13). After playing in Frisco, Nicholas spent the past two seasons with Round Rock and began 2016 with the Express before being promoted Sunday.


After taking all three games from Northwest Arkansas in the opening series, the Riders accomplished something that was done just once last year. Frisco only swept one series in 2015, and it was a rain-shortened two-game road set against Northwest Arkansas on July 10. The last time the Riders had swept a three-game series was August 15-17, 2014 at Tulsa.


The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Triple-A Round Rock and Class-A Hickory also started their seasons 5-1, while Class-A Advanced High Desert was 4-2 through its first six games. Of the other 116 full-season affiliates in Minor League Baseball, only 13 started 5-1 through their first six games. The New York Yankees are the only other parent club to have multiple affiliates start 5-1 (Class-A Advanced Tampa, Class-A Charleston)


A Look at the Archives: Riders Home Openers

Last week, prior to the first game of the RoughRiders season at Northwest Arkansas, Ryan wrote a piece about the magic of Opening Day. While Opening Day is certainly something to look forward to, only half the teams in a league actually begin their season at home.

For the other teams, like the Riders this year, Opening Day comes on the road. Sure, there is magic in the air when the players step out on the field for the first time. But it is a different feeling when you are the visitors and not the ones receiving cheers from the crowd.


Home openers are always special, no matter if they fall on the first game of the year or the ninth. For this year’s Riders, the home opener is scheduled for today after the team won five of six road games to begin the season.

While Frisco’s record on Opening Day is 8-6, their record in home openers is not nearly as pretty. The Riders are 4-9 in the first game at Dr Pepper Ballpark, including a 0-8 mark in home openers after beginning play on the road.

Here is a look at the year-by-year results in home openers at Dr Pepper Ballpark:

April 9, 2015 vs. Arkansas: L, 8-4 (Attendance: 8228)

April 4, 2014 vs. Northwest Arkansas: L, 3-1 (Attendance: 8211)

April 11, 2013 vs. Arkansas: L, 6-3 (Attendance: 9267)

April 12, 2012 vs. Springfield: L, 4-3 (Attendance: 7258)

April 7, 2011 vs. Springfield: W, 6-2 (Attendance: 7150)

April 8, 2010 vs. Springfield: W, 2-1 (Attendance: 8301)

April 16, 2009 vs. Springfield: L, 11-9 (Attendance: 7342)

April 10, 2008 vs. Springfield: L, 12-5 (Attendance: 9771)

April 5, 2007 vs. Arkansas: W, 3-2 (Attendance: 8458)

April 6, 2006 vs. Midland: W, 4-2 (Attendance: 8816)

April 12, 2005 vs. Corpus Christi: L, 4-1 (Attendance: 8723)

April 18, 2004 vs. Tulsa: L, 4-1 (Attendance: 10,773)

April 3, 2003 vs. Tulsa: L, 16-2 (Attendance: 10,685)

The RoughRiders will try to snap their four-game losing streak in home openers when they take the field tonight against the Naturals. Last week, Frisco swept Northwest Arkansas in a three-game series at Arvest Ballpark to begin the season. LHP Frank Lopez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Riders against LHP Matt Strahm (0-0, 0.00 ERA) for the Naturals.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: four-ribeye steak – synonym of grand slam

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

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.

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 Rewind – June 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.

Magic Number: 2

The RoughRiders can taste it now. A 7-2 win over the Midland RockHounds on Tuesday drove the Magic Number down to two. A win by the RoughRiders on Wednesday night against Corpus Christi, combined with a Midland loss to San Antonio, will seal the franchise’s eighth postseason berth. Click here to read Tuesday’s full game recap.

Once again, the new kids on the block for Frisco (38-25) stole the show. Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez shone bright and lead the ‘Riders to a 2-2 series split with the ‘Hounds (34-30). The RoughRiders finished 5-3 on the homestand and now embark on a season-long 12-game road swing that straddles the season’s midway point.

The first half officially wraps up after Frisco’s June 17 showdown with Midland from west Texas. Hopefully, the ‘Riders will put an end to the drama well before then; they lead the RockHounds by 4 1/2 games with six to play.

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (6), add one (6+1=7), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (7-5=2).

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

Everything Joey did on Tuesday came in a tandem. He now has two home runs and three extra-base hits in his first seven Double-A at-bats along with six RBI, three runs, three strikeouts and two walks. His home run on Tuesday went pull-side down the right-field line and snuck inside the foul pole before landing in the CoServ patio. It was little more than a 350-foot pop fly that floated over the fence after Joey sent it a mile high.

In spite of the fantastic start at the plate, the slugger has yet to truly connect on a pitch in Double-A, a sobering thought for opposing pitchers in the Texas League. Joey’s two homers thus far have essentially been misses in which supreme strength has guided the ball out of the park as opposed to square contact made on, say, a 95-mph heater. We aren’t going out of our way to perpetuate the Joey Gallo hysteria here on the ‘Riders Insider Blog, he’s earning the recognition with timely hits and disciplined at-bats in competitive games with a playoff berth on the line.

In case you missed it:

-Chi Chi Gonzalez was excellent in his RoughRiders debut. The 2013 first round draft choice pitched an abbreviated five innings and only threw 61 pitches (38 strikes), but it was more than enough to earn his first career win at the Double-A level. He allowed one hit over five innings with now walks and six strikeouts. His cut fastball is as advertised.

-To elaborate on the sole hit allowed by Gonzalez, it occurred with no outs in the fifth inning after the righty retired the first 12 batters he faced. On a line drive out to left field by Josh Whitaker, Trever Adams dove and appeared to make the play, but the umpiring crew ruled Adams trapped the ball. Gonzalez faced one over the minimum through his five innings of work.

-Jake Smolinski moved to the infield at made his second start of the season at first base. Adams took Smolinski’s customary spot in left field, and Ryan Rua took a turn as the DH.

-The RoughRiders played error-free baseball for the first time in the series.

-Rua extended his on-base streak to 18 straight games on Tuesday with a two-run double in the fifth. He now has 13 doubles and 35 RBI on the season.

-Jake Skole ripped three singles in his first three at-bats and finished 3-for-4 at the plate. Each base knock was sent to a different part of the field. It marked the second three-hit game of the season for Skole (May 31 at Springfield).

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.


‘Riders Rewind – June 9

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.

Magic Number: 4

The RoughRiders took a hack at the Magic Number on Monday like Joey Gallo took a hack at a Seth Frankoff changeup. Click here to read the full game recap.

The ‘Riders were fortunate to have the top of the order due up in the ninth and a pair of pristine bunt singles put two men on with nobody out. Working against one of the top closers in the Texas League in Seth Frankoff (a 2014 midseason All-Star with 11 saves this season), Joey Gallo punched a 2-0 changeup to the opposite field and the rest, as they say, is history.

With seven games to play in the first half, Frisco (37-25) holds a 3 1/2 edge over Midland (34-29). The teams still have three more head-to-head matchups, including Tuesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark, before the midway marker.

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (7), add one (7+1=8), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (8-4=4).

Frisco bookended its scoring with four runs in the first inning and three more in the ninth. Luke Jackson delivered a dichotomous outing with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings, but allowed four runs, two walks and threw two wild pitches in his final 1 1/3 innings.

This game read like many others in the season series between Frisco and Midland: intense, competitive and zany. After the ‘Hounds rallied from another early deficit, the game was once again decided in the ninth inning or later for the fourth time in eleven meetings.

Props to the platoon bullpen effort of Keone Kela, Wilmer Font and Ryan Bores, who collectively preserved the 4-4 tie long enough to give Gallo & co. the chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Each reliever allowed at least one baserunner, but neutralized the Midland threats in every instance.

Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 1/5, HR, 4RBI

Hard to snub Gallo here given the timeliness of his first Double-A home run. The towering lefty appears to be as advertised at the plate (in addition to the homer, he struck out three times). His first RBI crossed in the first inning when he grounded out to first base with a runner on third. Gallo’s reputation preceded him in the Texas League; Midland’s pitchers rarely offered fastballs, and in typical Oakland A’s fashion, the RockHounds used an exaggerated shift against the slugger.

In case you missed it:

-With Gallo at third base on Monday, Ryan Rua shifted to first base and Trever Adams batted as the DH. Midland’s first batter of the game, Billy Burns, reached first on an error charged to shortstop Guilder Rodriguez, but the ball popped out of Rua’s glove at first. In the seventh inning, Gallo nearly flubbed a groundball at third from Jefry Marte, but kept the ball in front of him and flashed his impressive arm strength on the in-time rifle to first.

-Gallo becomes the second player to wear number 24 for the RoughRiders this season. Rougned Odor was the first.

-Midland employed a shift against Gallo on Monday as well and placed three infielders to the right of second base. Second baseman Connor Crumbliss essentially served as a second right fielder and stationed in the grass. The RockHounds employed a less exaggerated shift against Drew Robinson.

-Frisco won its first game via walk-off since May 5. On that night, Robinson’s RBI single sent the ‘Riders to a 7-6 victory over…Midland.

-In the season series between Frisco and Midland, four games have ended with a walk-off and the teams have scored in the ninth inning in 8-of-11 total meetings.

-Rua extended his on-base streak to 17 straight games on Monday with an RBI single in the first inning. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

-Guilder Rodriguez hit his second extra-base hit of the season with a scratch double to center in the sixth. G-Rod finished the night 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. He is batting .348 with 39 hits and 17 runs and 11 RBI in 30 games and has a .430 on-base percentage. Equally impressive is the veteran’s stretch of four multi-hit games this month and two four-hit outings in the last nine games.

-Adams also had a monster night at the plate and went 3-for-4 with a home run, two scores, two RBI and a walk. He dropped one of the beautiful bunts in the ninth inning and reached when Frankoff could not corral the ball on the first base line. Adams’ batting average is north of .300 for the first time this season (.301), good for eighth in the Texas League.

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.