Results tagged ‘ RockHounds ’

Wind of change: Texas League roster turnover

During a Minor League baseball season, there is a whirlwind of player movement in every farm system. Players are shuffled around to different levels nearly every day.

Matt Bush, who began the 2016 season with Frisco, is currently on the Texas Rangers roster.

However, this season, the RoughRiders have maintained a majority of core players from the Opening Day roster. 17 players, to be exact. Matt Bush and Jose Leclerc reached the Majors, with Bush currently remaining on the Rangers 25-man roster. Several others have played for the Triple-A squad this year, with four still remaining in Round Rock. One player is currently with High Desert, and two are no longer in the Rangers organization.

The curiosity bug stung me, and I was interested to find out how Frisco’s totals compared to the other seven teams in the Texas League. After going back into the archives and digging up every team’s Opening Day roster (including players on the disabled list, temporary inactive list, and suspended list), it was much easier to see the breakdown.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 9.33.09 AM

To fully understand this color-coded mess, note the key at the bottom left of the spreadsheet. Players highlighted in red are currently in the Majors, orange for Triple-A, clear for Double-A, and green for a lower level (Class-A or Class A-Advanced). A yellow highlight indicates a player who is no longer with the Texas League team’s parent club (either released or currently in a different organization). Blue font is a special marker for Evan Gattis, who opened the season on a Major League rehabilitation assignment with Corpus Christi.

Breakdown

With the data collected, it turned out the RoughRiders do indeed have the largest number of players from Opening Day (17 of 25) still on their active Texas League roster as of yesterday.

San Antonio had the biggest turnover, with just 12 players remaining from their 25-man Opening Day roster. Seven of those original 25 are no longer in the San Diego Padres organization, which is also a league-high.

In addition to Bush, three other players who opened the campaign in the Texas League are on a Major League roster at the moment. Pitcher Daniel Mengden and infielder Ryon Healy went from Midland to Oakland. Pitcher Cesar Vargas, who started the year in San Antonio, is now with the Padres (although currently on the disabled list).

Northwest Arkansas’ Opening Day roster was quite unique. The Naturals top the other seven clubs with a whopping 10 players currently at Triple-A Omaha. In addition, all 27 players from their April 7 roster are still in the Royals organization. They are the only team in the league who has not had an Opening Day player released or traded yet.

In addition to the Riders holding on to 17 of their initial 25 players, Frisco is tied with Tulsa for the fewest players (four) on an active Triple-A roster. The Drillers had the largest Opening Day roster with 28 total (25 + three on the disabled list).

However, five of them are now playing in a lower level of the Dodgers’ farm system. Comparatively, there are only three other players who started the year in the Texas League, stayed in the farm system, but are playing below the Double-A level (Frisco, Corpus Christi, and Northwest Arkansas each have one).

There is still a month and a half remaining in the season, so I am sure we will continue to see plenty more roster turnover as the weeks move along.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: get-small-quick ball – A home run, so named because of the way the ball appears to get smaller and smaller as it travels into the stands or out of the ballpark.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Double trouble: Riders struggles in twinbills this year

The RoughRiders are set to play their sixth doubleheader of the season this evening. Overall, Frisco is just 4-6 when playing multiple games in a single day.

The struggles have been especially magnified in game two, where the Riders are 1-4 (0-3 at home). Some of the worst offensive performances of the season have come in doubleheader. Let’s take a closer look:

Game One Game Two
Record: 3-2 1-4
Runs scored: 18 7
Runs allowed: 17 22
Hits: 23 18
Hits allowed: 34 32
Home runs: 1 1
Home runs allowed: 5 6
Highest run total: 7 (5/19 at Midland) 4 (5/19 at Midland)
Lowest run total: 0 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 0 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/13 at Corpus Christi)
Highest hit total: 7 (5/19 at Midland) 9 (5/19 at Midland)
Lowest hit total: 1 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 1 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/13 at Corpus Christi)
Largest margin of victory: 3 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/19 at Midland) 2 (5/19 at Midland)
Largest margin of defeat: 4 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 6 (2x, 5/13 at Corpus Christi, 6/13 vs. Midland)

In total, the RoughRiders are being outscored 39-25, outhit 66-41, and outhomered 11-2. In game one, however, Frisco has actually tallied more runs (18) than opponents (17), despite still being outhit 34-23.

Frisco has run into three dominant starting pitchers who allowed just one hit in their outings. Kyle McGowin (Arkansas) and Evan Grills (Corpus Christi) both tossed complete-game, one-hit shutouts. Brock Stewart (Tulsa) pitched six scoreless, one-hit innings, and then Scott Griggs recorded the final three outs.

The Riders have a chance to put the past behind them, with another doubleheader coming up tonight at home against Corpus Christi. It represents a chance for the past troubles to be buried. After all, Frisco trails the Hooks by 5.5 games with seven remaining, so every game is a must-win from this point forward.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: lobby sitter – A player who hangs out in hotel lobbies between games on road trips.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Texas League Scrabble

In the Texas League, logos with letters are a common theme among all eight teams. During the Riders’ recent road trip to San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think of a Scrabble board when viewing the Missions’ “SA” logo.

So I began to devise a list of words that could be created from Texas League teams’ logos. Some of the best: catamarans, tsars, maracas, cataracts, transacts, and mascara.

The most difficult thing about finding words is only having the power to use one vowel, thanks to the Arkansas Travelers’ logo. The other seven teams use consonants.

The following is an attempt to compile as many words as possible made up of all the Texas League logos, arranged accordingly on a Scrabble board. Enjoy!

Tulsa_Drillers14.ai

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: first and fifteenth player – A player who thinks only of paydays, such as the first and fifteenth days of the month.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

2016 Texas League All-Star Game, featuring the best player names

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With the Texas League All-Star Game coming up on June 28 in Springfield, it is time to start considering who will be representing the North and South Division squads this year.

Surely, many players have put up All-Star Game-worthy numbers. However, we are completely disregarding statistics in this blog post and focusing solely on awesome names alone.

Here is a list of what I consider to be the best names by position in the Texas League from the North and South Divisions. (* = not on team’s active roster as of June 1)

From the North Division…

Catcher: *Anthony Bemboom (Arkansas)

First Baseman: Frank Schwindel (Northwest Arkansas)

Second baseman: Breyvic Valera (Springfield)

Third baseman: Brandon Trinkwon (Tulsa)

Shortstop: *Erisbel Arruebarrena (Tulsa)

Outfielder: Bo Way (Arkansas)

Outfielder: *Orlando Calixte (Northwest Arkansas)

Outfielder: Kyle Garlick (Tulsa)

Designated Hitter: Jacob Scavuzzo (Tulsa)

Pitcher: *Alan Busenitz (Arkansas)

Pitcher: Daniel Poncedeleon (Springfield)

Pitcher: Ralston Cash (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Tim Shibuya (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Ronnie Shaban (Springfield)

Pitcher: *Estarlin Cordero (Northwest Arkansas)

From the South Division…

Catcher: *Rocky Gale (San Antonio)

First Baseman: Conrad Gregor (Corpus Christi)

Second baseman: Evan Van Hoosier (Frisco)

Third baseman: *Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Frisco)

Shortstop: *River Stevens (San Antonio)

Outfielder: Teoscar Hernandez (Corpus Christi)

Outfielder: Danny Oh (Midland)

Outfielder: Brett Vertigan (Midland)

Designated Hitter: Chan-Jong Moon (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Keegan Yuhl (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Cy Sneed (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: *Reymin Guduan (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Ryne Slack (Frisco)

Pitcher: Trey Cochran-Gill (Midland)

Pitcher: Jose Valdespina (Frisco)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: jam sandwich – Throwing a pitch near the batter’s fists with a fastball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Meaning behind the mascots

NORTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

Arkansas-Primary

Arkansas Travelers  Name derived from an old folk song, The Arkansas Traveler, which was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963. The music was composed in the 19th century by Colonel Sanford C. ‘Sandy’ Faulkner, and the lyrics were written in 1947.

 

Northwest_Arkansas_Naturals_Main

Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Named partially after the state’s nickname as the “Natural State” and also after the Robert Redford film, The NaturalBob Rich, Jr. of Rich Products Corporation, the Naturals ownership group, bought the Double-A Buffalo Bisons in 1983. That year, Hollywood producers approached Rich about filming scenes of The Natural at Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium. Following the release of the film, attendance at Bisons’ games nearly tripled and the team moved to the Triple-A American Association. In a fan vote, the “Naturals” name was chosen, receiving 33% of the vote. The second-place choice “Thunder Chickens” received 27%.

 

Springfield_Cardinals15.ai

Springfield Cardinals – The only team in the Texas League who currently shares the same name as their Major League affiliate. In 1931, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased a Minor League team, renamed it the Cardinals, and moved it to Springfield. Following the 1946 season, St. Louis moved the team to St. Joseph, Mo. The new Springfield Cardinals began play in the Texas League in 2005, but the dugouts at Hammons Field still include championship banners from the 1930s and 1940s.
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Tulsa Drillers – Name was carried over from the Lafayette Drillers who moved to Tulsa in 1977. Tulsa’s original Minor League team was named the Oilers and played Triple-A baseball, but the team moved to New Orleans. The new team opted to keep the Drillers name, due to the importance of oil to the city’s economy, and the ballpark changed its name from Oiler Park to Driller Park.

 

SOUTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

CC Primary

Corpus Christi Hooks – Named for the city’s association with fishing, which is very popular on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Team’s colors are navy blue and light blue, representing the sea water and the sky.

 

Midland_RockHounds

Midland RockHounds – Nickname originated in 1999 when Midland’s team became an Oakland Athletic affiliate. They were originally known as the Midland Cubs and the Midland Angels, but the team wanted to have a name that would honor local tradition and be unique. A RockHound is simply a nickname for a geologist and it acknowledges the oil and gas industry in west Texas. The RockHounds became one of the early adopters in the current wave of fun, kid-friendly, location-specific Minor League nicknames.

 

San_Antonio_Missions

San Antonio Missions – Named after a chain of five missions that were established along the San Antonio River in the 18th century. It became the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America. The most famous mission is The Alamo, which is featured on the Missions’ logo.

 

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: light tower power piece – A towering home run; a truly awesome blast.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

What’s in the name? Ryan Cordell vs. Ryon Healy

042916 Cordell, Ryan (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

As we mentioned earlier in the week, the RoughRiders and Midland RockHounds are two very evenly-matched teams.

Not only are the teams very similar statistically, but two of their best players match up quite well also. And coincidentally, they share the same first name (although spelled differently).

Ryan Cordell and Ryon Healy have not only been putting up similar numbers this year, but throughout their entire Minor League careers as well. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Ryan C. Ryon H.
Birthplace: San Diego, California West Hills, California
Age: 24 (3/31/92) 24 (1/10/92)
Bats/Throws: R/R R/R
Height, Weight: 6’4″, 195 lbs. 6’5″, 225 lbs.
School: Liberty Oregon
Drafted: Round 11 (2013, TEX) Round 3 (2013, OAK)
MLB Pipeline Rank: 15 in Rangers farm system 17 in Athletics farm system
In Double-A: 2nd season 2nd season
’16 Average: .355 (3rd in Texas League) .339 (4th in Texas League)
’16 On-Base %: .405 .411 (T-2nd in Texas League)
’16 Slugging %: .720 (1st in MiLB) .645 (2nd in Texas League)
’16 Home Runs: 8 (T-2nd in Texas League) 7 (5th in Texas League)
’16 RBI: 30 (2nd in Texas League) 31 (1st in Texas League)
’16 Runs: 27 (T-1st in Texas League) 24 (3rd in Texas League)
’16 Extra-base hits: 20 (2nd in Texas League) 21 (1st in Texas League)
’16 Strikeouts: 31 32
Career Average: .286 .289
Career On-Base %: .350 .327
Career Slugging %: .476 .444
Career Home Runs: 44 39
Career RBI: 187 205
Career Runs: 210 176
Career XBH: 120 126
Career Strikeouts: 276 221

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: futility player – A player who plays many positions, none of them well.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Inside the Matchup: RoughRiders vs. RockHounds

Ryan Cordell is at the top of the Texas League in numerous offensive categories.

Ryan Cordell is at the top of the Texas League in numerous offensive categories.

The RoughRiders series with the Midland RockHounds is a matchup of the teams with the two best records in the Texas League. Frisco is still in first place at 21-7 after dropping last night’s close 4-3 contest, but Midland is just 3.5 games behind the Riders with an 18-11 record.

Midland served as a major roadblock to the Riders on the quest for success last season. Frisco won just eight of the 28 games against the RockHounds in 2015.

However, the Riders do have a slight 164-161 all-time edge in games with Midland since Frisco began Texas League play in 2003. The Riders have also won more series (40) against Midland than any other team in the Texas League.

So far this year, the RoughRiders and RockHounds have had two of the best offenses in the Texas League. In both individual and team statistics, the lists are peppered with players from Frisco and Midland.

Team statistics (offense):

Category: Frisco (league rank): Midland (league rank):
Batting avg. .273 (1st) .271 (2nd)
On-base % .337 (2nd) 5.3 (1st)
Slugging % .439 (1st) .435 (2nd)
Runs/game 5.2 (2nd) 5.3 (1st)
Hits/game 9.1 (2nd) 9.4 (1st)
Extra-base hits 91 (2nd) 98 (1st)
Doubles 53 (3rd) 61 (1st)
Triples 13 (1st) 18 (T-2nd)
Home runs 25 (5th) 29 (T-3rd)

Individual statistics (offense):

Category: Frisco player (rank): Midland player (rank):
Batting avg. Ronald Guzman (.351, 3rd)

Ryan Cordell (.343, 5th)

Ryon Healy (.350, 4th)

Viosergy Rosa (.308, 7th)

 

Home runs None in Top 5 Matt Chapman (9, 1st)

Healy (7, 4th)

 

RBI Cordell (27, 2nd)

Zach Cone (21, T-3rd)

Healy (31, 1st)

 

 

Hits Cordell (35, 3rd) Healy (41, T-1st)

 

 

Doubles Cordell (9, T-4th) Healy (11, 1st)

Rosa (10, T-2nd)

 

On-base % Guzman (.419, 4th) Rosa (.422, 2nd)

Healy (.421, 3rd)

 

Slugging % Cordell (.667, 3rd) Healy (.675, 2nd)

 

 

Extra-base hits Cordell (18, 2nd) Healy (21, 1st)

Chapman (15, 4th)

 

Runs scored Cordell (24, 2nd) Chapman (26, 1st)

Healy (23, 3rd)

Jaycob Brugman (22, 4th)

Triples Cordell (3, T-2nd) Healy (3, T-2nd)

 

 

Total bases Cordell (68, 2nd) Healy (79, 1st)

Chapman (63, 3rd)

 

Base on balls None in Top 5 Rosa (18, T-1st)

Chapman (16, T-3rd)

 

These are two evenly-matched teams, and it was apparent in last night’s back-and-forth ballgame. Frisco will play Midland 28 times this season, as the two will become very familiar adversaries. With the impressive starts these two clubs have had, it should make for some exciting baseball.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: gooseberry – A bruise from sliding.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Lights, camera, action! Riders shine in the spotlight

Tonight, for the second time this season, a Frisco RoughRiders game will be aired on Fox Sports Southwest.

During the last homestand, it was announced that the network will be airing at least eight Riders games during the 2016 season. The first game was a huge success, with fans across four different states tuning in to watch Frisco defeat the San Antonio Missions 6-5.

Ronald Guzman and Alex Burg both slugged home runs, as the Riders capped off their first four-game sweep of the Missions. Watch the highlights below:

RoughRiders broadcaster Nathan Barnett was joined by analyst Mike Bascik, a former Rangers pitcher, and Paul Kruger, the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Rangers. Tonight, Rangers Senior Director of Player Development Mike Daly will be on the air with Barnett as the RoughRiders host the Midland RockHounds.

In the past, select Riders games have been televised on KTXD 47. While this provided fans across the Metroplex with an opportunity to watch Riders games, it excluded additional fans from the remainder of the state and region.

Now, fans from the DFW area and beyond have the opportunity to watch the games on television tonight and at least six other times this year. Fox Sports Southwest reaches over 10 million cable and satellite TV homes in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, as well as nationally via satellite television and streaming online with Fox Sports Go.

After tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game against Midland, Fox Sports Southwest will air the following remaining RoughRiders games this season. Make sure to tune in on these dates and catch the Riders in action!

Date: Time: Opponent: Opponent Affiliate:
Monday, May 23 11:00 a.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, June 2 7:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Tuesday, June 14 11:00 a.m.  vs. Midland RockHounds  (Oakland Athletics)
Sunday, July 31 6:00 p.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, Aug. 18 7:00 p.m.  vs. Springfield Cardinals  (St. Louis Cardinals)
Sunday, Aug. 21 6:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Freak show stat – A baseball statistic that is cute or entertaining but of little real value; e.g., players’ double-figure totals in doubles, triples, and home runs

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

SDCS Game Two Notes: Balk


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 crashed from their Game One victory high and fell from grace in a hard way. Midland took a grueling game two 6-3 on Thursday as the series shifts to Midland for the next two nights. Click here to read the Game Two recap.

Let’s hope the RoughRiders just needed to get a game like this out of their system. At times, it was flat out ugly. The ‘Riders committed four errors, including three alone on catcher Jorge Alfaro. Midland also drew eight walks and placed a total of 20 men on base (more than two per inning on average).

At that rate, it seemed like the RockHounds constantly had runners in scoring position with their paws on the RoughRiders’ throats. And yet, the game was tied at 3-3 in the ninth when, alas, the ‘Riders lost their composure. Midland scored a run on a wild pitch and another on a balk and really did not have to do a whole lot to take the win away from the ‘Riders. It was given. Furthermore, Jason Wood was ejected after second base umpire, Clay Park charged Erik Hamren with a balk that allowed Jeremy Barfield to score and put the Hounds up 6-3. Afterwards, as Park walked back to his position, he allegedly caught some verbal flak from Odubel Herrera and ejected the RoughRiders’ second baseman as well.

As disappointing as it was to see the ‘Riders unravel, the came out in the bottom of the ninth and loaded the bases with two outs. The RockHounds had to haul their closer Jose Flores out of the bullpen, so the ‘Riders certainly made Midland sweat a bit at the end.

Ultimately, the game was a clunker for the bullpen and did not end on a high note for the starter, Jerad Eickhoff. The righty slogged his way through his first five innings but had grudgingly allowed just one unearned run and stranded six runners on base. But he walked his final batter faced, Matt Chapman, a call-up from Low-A in just his second Double-A game. Eickhoff could not close out the Hounds in the sixth and the bullpen proceeded to blow a 3-1 lead. Ryan Rodebaugh walked the lone man he faced (the nine hitter) and Joseph Ortiz gave up consecutive run-scoring hits and the two-out rally brought Midland right back into the game.

Star of the Game: SS Hanser Albert0 – 2/4, R

Hanser continues to build off a strong end to the regular season. He has three hits in two postseason games with a double, a run and two RBI.

In case you missed it:

-Midland did not hit a ball out of the infield in the ninth inning.

-A total of three balks were charged in the game (two to Frisco).

-The RoughRiders left the bases loaded in the first and the ninth innings.

-Nick Williams has been red hot at the plate in the playoffs, but continues to be a liability in the field. On Thursday, he drove in two runs on a single to left, but was thrown out trying to sneak into second on the back end of the play to end the inning. Nick also dropped a can of corn in center field in the eighth inning. Jake Skole replaced him in the field in the eighth inning.

-After the ‘Riders scored on a suicide squeeze play in game one, Midland answered with a suicide squeeze of its own on Thursday. The Hounds also socred on a safety squeeze by Conner Crumbliss in the sixth inning.

-There has been at least one unearned run in both games of the series.

 

Game one star Odubel Herrera chats about his strong performance in the playoff opener:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

SDCS Game One Notes: ‘Riders Strike First


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.

An attack plan of aggressive hitting and baserunning, coupled with sturdy situational pitching, propelled the RoughRiders to a 7-3 win in the opening salvo of the Texas League South Division Championship Series. Click here to read the Game One recap.

Those with a tendency to overreact (guilty) may have grown concerned when the RockHounds put the first two men on base with nobody out in the first. Chi Chi Gonzalez exonerated himself well and picked up three straight outs (good situational pitching) to ferry the game to the bottom of the first when all of a sudden…BANG! The ‘Riders put a six-spot on the board and took control of the game.

Odubel Herrera’s leadoff home run opened the scoring, but Trever Adams turned the tide when he pushed a bunt brilliantly up the third base line. It caught the RockHounds completely off guard in an example of the aggressive hitting tactics employed by Jason Wood’s squad. Joey Gallo then reached on an error by first baseman Hiro Nakajima and Midland suddenly looked rattled. After J.T. Wise bounced out, a wild ball four to Nomar Mazara brought home Adams and the levy broke. The bottom of the order rattled off three straight run-scoring hits and before you could blink, the scoreboard read 6-0 ‘Riders.

Star of the Game: 2B Odubel Herrera – 1/3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SO, SAC

He may have been the Texas League batting champion, but few expected Odubel to turn on Nate Long’s 0-2 offering and send it way out of the yard to right field. The native of Zulia, Venezuela only cracked two long balls in the regular season with Frisco, but discovered a pitch in his wheelhouse and delivered the first postseason home run for the RoughRiders.

After the RockHounds chipped away at the lead and made the score 6-2, Odubel came through again on the bunt side of a perfectly executed sacrifice squeeze. It reestablished a five-run advantage for the ‘Riders in the fifth inning and helped discourage any thoughts of a Midland comeback. Odubel helped his team in a multitude of ways at the plate in the form of flashy power and yeoman finesse.

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders scored six runs on five hits in the first inning. Five runs scored after Nakajima’s error in the first inning and thus were unearned.

-San Antonio was the last team in the Texas League to score six or more runs in the first inning of a playoff game. The Missions dropped seven run on the RoughRiders in game four of the South Division Championship Series on September 10, 2011.

-The half dozen runs in a single inning is tied for the second-highest run total for the RoughRiders in team history. The ‘Riders also scored six runs in their inaugural season against the Wichita Wranglers on September 4, 2003 in game three of the East Division Championship Series (the divisions were realigned prior to the 2006 season).

-Frisco posted a seven-run fourth inning in game three of the East Division Championship Series against the Tulsa Drillers on September 9, 2004. The ‘Riders would go on to capture their lone Texas League crown later that month.

-Frisco batted around in the first inning and sent ten men to the plate.

-The RoughRiders racked up all eight of their hits in the first three innings…

-…But that didn’t stop the ‘Riders from scoring in the fifth. In an impressive display of small ball, Nick Williams drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hanser Alberto. A throwing error on third baseman Max Muncy allowed Alberto to take two bases and move Williams down to third. Jason Wood boldly called for a sacrifice squeeze and Herrera dropped the bunt right into no man’s land between home plate and the mound. Williams bolted home and scored before the RockHounds even fielded the bunt. It was another unearned run for the ‘Riders.

-Midland first baseman Hiro Nakajima was injured on the Alberto sacrifice and left the game in the fifth inning. Nakajima reached to his left to reel in a wide throw from Muncy at third when his extended arm was clipped by Alberto as he raced to beat the throw. Chad Oberacker replaced Nakajima at first for the rest of the game.

-Midland’s last chance came in the eighth inning. Will Lamb, who pitched a flawless seventh, ran into trouble when Kenny Wilson tripled to start the frame. Lamb then walked Muncy, which brought Josh McElwee out of the bullpen. McElwee allowed an RBI single to Kent Matthes and then walked Jeremy Barfield to reload the bases. Uh oh. But in the finest example of situational pitching last night, McElwee retired the next three batters in order to strand the bases full and hold the Hounds to just one run in the frame. McElwee suddenly turned the corner when he struck out Dusty Coleman on three pitches. D’Arby Myers popped out to short on the second pitch of his at-bat and Oberacker went down swinging to retire the side. McElwee ended the inning on eight straight strikes and flashed a very impressive slider that fooled Midland considerably.

-Jake Skole replaced Nick Williams in center field for the ninth inning.

 

Double-barrel action in the bullpen today featuring Jason Wood and Wednesday’s starter Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

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