Results tagged ‘ Frisco RoughRiders ’

‘Riders Rewind – May 15

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.

Like a scene from the zombie apocalypse, the Midland RockHounds refused to die and finally bit the RoughRiders in the 11th inning to salvage a series split at Security Bank Ballpark. Click here to read the full game recap.

It’s only the middle of May, but a bullpen collapse of that proportion should do more than raise a red flag. It should sound an alarm. Frisco threw the gamut at Midland after starter Edwar Cabrera left the game, desperate to find anybody who could keep the Hounds off the board for an inning, or in some cases, simply earn an out.

No one had an answer as five different relievers combined to pitch 3 2/3 innings and allow seven runs on seven hits with seven walks and a hit batter. The results overshadowed a fantastic night by the offense; the bats swung for 15 hits and the ‘Riders scored multiple runs in four different innings, including the three-run tenth.

Star of the Game: CF Teodoro Martinez – 3-for-5, 2B, 2R, 3RBI

Teo drove in at least one run in every game of the series against Midland and bopped multiple hits in each of the last three games. His run-scoring double to left in the sixth inning on Thursday nearly left the yard for what would have been his first home run of the season.

Drew Robinson (2-for-5, HR, 3B, 2R, 2RBI) and Ryan Rua (3-for-6, 3B, 2B, 3R, RBI) both turned in strong outings, but Teo takes the cake because of timeliness. I know Robinson led off the ninth with a triple in a tie ballgame, but the Venezuelan’s run-scoring single in the tenth gave the ‘Riders a lead in extras that should have been enough to win. The 22-year-old scored later in the frame on an infield single by Patrick Cantwell to put his team up 10-7.

“Cafe” also cranked his double with two outs on the board to spark a two-run rally for Frisco in the sixth.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 14

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 suffered a bitter defeat at the hand of Midland on Wednesday night. The RockHounds rallied from a 6-4 deficit in the ninth inning and walked it off with an RBI single from Billy Burns. Click here to read the full game recap.

The bullpen was due for a letdown, and after a few close calls, the ‘Riders lost a game in which they led after the eighth inning for the first time since 2012 (a 93-game span). It was bound to happen at some point, but the collapse brings to light the unfilled closer position on the team at this point in the season.

Matt West may have been the candidate of choice, but he left for Round Rock on May 3. The Rangers named West its minor league reliever of the month, and so did we.

Star of the Game: LF Jake Smolinski – “Smo” continues to swing a hot bat and play lock-down defense in the outfield. He finished 2-for-5 at the plate on Wednesday with a home run and two runs scored. His shot to left in the sixth off Chris Jensen sparked a three-run frame for the ‘Riders. All six of Smolinski’s homers this season have been solo shots. The 2007 draft choice by the Washington Nationals is currently tied for fifth in the Texas League with a .299 batting average and his .401 on-base percentage ranks third in the league.

It was hard to ignore Odubel Herrera who tallied four base hits in five at-bats. However, his two RBI both crossed on a deflected single that did not leave the infield and he got greedy on a double to right. The RockHounds threw out Herrera as he tried to take a third bag on the play and the ‘Riders lost an opportunity to put another run on the board in the ninth inning. In hindsight, it was a run that could have served their cause quite well.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

Quarters in Change – Team Awards at the 25¢ mark

13701572164_aec0f95de8_bSaturday’s 5-1 loss to Corpus Christi marked the quarter point in the 2014 campaign. The ‘Riders ran through the first 35 games on the schedule with a 22-13 record, good for the best mark in the Texas League.

Extrapolate that start to the full season, and the RoughRiders are on pace to finish 88-52. It’s an ambitious clip to maintain, but an 88-win season would be the most in club history. The current benchmark is 85 wins, set in 2007.

Frisco took care of business in all fronts and venues. They posted positive records at Dr Pepper Ballpark (13-8) and on the road (9-5). The ‘Riders also went 14-9 within the south division and won 8-of-12 against teams from the Texas League North.

The roster was not placid, either. Thirty-three personnel moves have occurred since the Opening Day Roster dropped on March 28. Three players debuted at the major league level and another four moved on to the Triple-A ranks. The RoughRiders also received three players from Advanced-A and four from extended spring training.

This ability to maintain consistency in the face of roster upheaval is a testament to the cohesiveness of the core players and Jason Wood‘s skills as a manager of men. Even when Woody took his customary vacation (the Rangers organization allows the coaching staff a four-day break during the season), the team continued to gel. The Rangers Minor League Field Coordinator, who served as acting field manager in Wood’s absence, left a note for the skipper in which he praised the professional demeanor and positive attitude in the clubhouse.

Early returns are also strong on the squad’s performance sans its two top prospects, Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas. The RoughRiders won five of their first six games without the tandem of Venezuelan middle infielders.

In short, a plethora of candidates can make a realistic argument for unofficial team awards as the season stands on first base. Here are the top four individual performers one-fourth of the way through the ‘Riders 2014 run. For a list of the top ten moments of the 2014 season to date, click here.

Hitter of the Quarter: #9 Ryan Rua – 3B/2B/DH

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Questions lingered around Ryan at the start of the season. The 24-year-old tore up the South Atlantic League in 2013 with the Hickory Crawdads (29 home runs, 24 doubles, 82 RBI, .914 OPS in 104 games). The All-Star campaign earned him a spot in Frisco for the final month of the season, but the righty batted .233 in 23 games with the ‘Riders and his OPS fell to an earthly .689. Was the barnstorming tour in Hickory an aberration?

After an 0-for-8 start to the season, the muscular infielder answered the above question with a resounding “no.” From April 5 to May 4, Ryan reached base safely in 27 consecutive games. He posted 12 multi-hit games during the streak, the second-longest of its kind in Minor League Baseball this season.

The 17th round draft choice in 2011 clubbed a .354/.441/.654 line in the month of April and his OPS soared to 1.095. The native of Ohio played 24 games in April, one more than he played for the ‘Riders a season ago. Over the same approximate span in 2014, Ryan cracked 29 hits (including six home runs and six doubles). He scored 12 runs and drove in 15 more. Equally impressive was the right-handed hitter’s ratio of strikeouts (11) to walks (13). Not bad for a player with some pop in the bat.

Ryan consistently draws the attention of his teammates, spectators and even the opposition with his display of power in batting practice. As the first quarter of the season proved, however, the 6-foot-2 180 pound slugger is far more than a B.P. warrior.

Pitcher of the Quarter: #7 Luke Jackson – RHP

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The term “staff ace” does not apply at the minor league level, but Luke has been the lead arm on a young unit with plenty of potential. He took home Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors for April 14-20 and became the first ‘Rider to earn a league award this season. It was the first Texas League distinction for Luke in his career. The Carolina League also recognized “LuJax” as its pitcher of the week in 2013.

The Texas League selected the 6-foot-2 185 pound righty on the heels of a six inning shut out performance against the Arkansas Travelers on April 15. Luke surrendered three hits, two walks and tossed eight strikeouts for his first win of the season.

The 2010 supplemental first round draft choice tossed a career outing on April 21. Luke retired the first 17 men he faced and held a perfect game with two outs in the sixth inning. San Antonio’s Jake Lemmerman broke up  the bid, but Luke still finished with no runs on three hits, no walks and eight strikeouts.

Luke owns a 4-1 record on the season with a 3.00 ERA through 42 innings pitched. He also earned his first career save when he relieved big league rehabber Joe Saunders on May 6.

Defender of the Quarter: #3 Jake Smolinski – LF/RF/DH

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Jake is in his first year with the Rangers organization, and on a roster in flux, “Smo” has provided stability and consistency both at the plate and in the field. Once he figured out his swing about three weeks into the season, Jake’s batting average has climbed to .299 with a .401 on-base percentage (his career trademark is a high OBP).

The 5-foot-11 185 pound right-hander has been the club’s left fielder for 30 of the team’s first 39 games, and he also made two spot starts in right. Along with seven games as designated hitter, the 2nd round draft choice in 2007 is one of two players in the Texas League to play in every game through May 14. Jake has logged more innings in the pasture than anyone on the RoughRiders’ roster. Through 267 2/3 innings, the native of Rockford, Ill. has committed one error and leads the team in outfield assists (2). In addition, Jake has turned the only outfield double play for the ‘Riders thus far in 2014.

The 25-year-old has flashed his athleticism on several plays in left, most notably on April 27 in a game against Corpus Christi. The Hooks loaded the bases with no outs and brought one run home to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning. With runners still on first and second with two outs, Jake made a great play on a deep fly ball from M.P. Cokinos that would have surely broken the dead heat had it escaped the glove of the left fielder. The ‘Riders went on to win the game 4-3.

Reliever of the Quarter: #35 Matt West – RHP

Healthy for the first time since the 2011, Matt sheared the long blonde locks and pitched with authority out of the bullpen. He posted a 2-0 record with three saves and a 0.68 ERA. At 25 years of age, Matt allowed one run with the ‘Riders through eight appearances and 13 1/3 innings pitched. The lone run charged to the native of Houston crossed in his final appearance with the ‘Riders on April 29. The numbers earned the 6-foot-1 200 pound hurler a promotion to Triple-A Round Rock on May 3.

Through 3 2/3 innings with the Express this month, Matt has allowed six runs (five earned) on 12 hits  with one walk and five strikeouts. However, no runs have crossed on Matt’s watch in his last two starts.

On May 15, the Rangers recognized the 2nd round draft choice in 2007 as its reliever of the month in April. Not bad for a former third baseman who converted to the mound three seasons ago.

The ‘Riders are off and running in 2014. Who will shine in the second quarter as the first half winds to a close? Stay tuned to find out!

-Chris V.

‘Riders Rewind – May 13

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 RoughRiders’ 5-4 win over Midland on Tuesday afternoon. The contest started at 11 a.m., but the ‘Riders awoke from a 3-0 deficit and scored five unanswered. Click here to read the full game recap.

Midland once again made the game interesting in the ninth inning. The RockHounds kept the game alive when Anthony Aliotti reached on an error to put men on first and second with two outs. Josh Whitaker, who had homered twice already in the series, put a charge in a ball to deep right field, but Drew Robinson made the grab at the fence to shut down the Hounds.

Star of the Game: RHP Phil Klein – The 6-foot-7 reliever from Ohio tossed two scoreless innings against the RockHounds in a one-run game to earn his second save of the season. The ‘Riders improved to 10-1 in one-run games in 2014, tops in the Texas League.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 12

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 RoughRiders’ 8-4 win over Midland in their first trip to west Texas of the season. The ‘Riders knocked 15 hits in the game, their third-highest total of the season. Click here to read the full game recap.

Frisco led 8-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning when Midland loaded the bases with no outs. The RockHounds scored twice, but just as the game conjured memories of one week ago, Teodoro Martinez put away a deep fly ball in right field to ensure the victory.

Ryan Rua snapped out of a slump at the plate with his seventh home run of the season and first since April 29. He also had his first multi-hit game since May 1.

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘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.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 1

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.

The bats fell silent for the RoughRiders in their 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Thursday. The Missions held the ‘Riders scoreless after the third inning and allowed three base hits over the final six innings. Frisco batted 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left ten men stranded. Click here to read the full game recap.

Frisco grabbed a two-run lead in the third inning when Ryan Rua drove in his 16th run of the season. The ‘Riders initially scored on a throwing error by San Antonio right fielder Yeison Asencio in the same frame.

San Antonio rallied to tie after a fielding error by Rougned Odor plated a run, followed by an RBI single from Robert Kral. The Missions took the lead for good when Lee Orr doubled home a run off Luke Jackson. They added an insurance run in the seventh when Jason Hagerty batted in a run off Ryan Rodebaugh.

Johnny Barbato earned his sixth save of the season, tied for most in the Texas League, when he struck out Jake Smolinski to end the ballgame.

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – April 30

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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.

The ‘Riders evened the series with the San Antonio Missions on Wednesday with a 2-1 win at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium. Click here to read the full game recap.

Frisco jumped to a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a Ryan Rua RBI single as the third baseman extended his on-base streak to 23 games. The Missions answered in the same inning when Jake Smolinski dropped a fly ball from Rymer Liriano in deep left field. Rob Kral scored to the tie the game at 1-1.

Two innings later, Rougned Odor belted his fourth home run of the season–his first since April 12–to put the ‘Riders in front for good, 2-1. With Francisco Mendoza on the hill in the bottom of the ninth, Kral flew out to center field to end the ballgame.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

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