Change Of Venue? No Problem
The RockHounds' season-opening "tour of Arkansas" saw the club travel from Springdale to North Little Rock, but the result was the same. The 'Hounds posted their fourth consecutive victory in 2013, defeating the Arkansas Travelers, 4-1, at Dickey-Stephens Park Sunday evening.
Carlos Hernandez went 5.0 shutout innings and the offense manufactured three runs in that time for a 3-0 lead. Nate Long (one run on two hits in 2.0 innings) and Darren Byrd (two shutout innings) combined to go the rest of the way, with Byrd earning the first save of the season.
Defense came up huge for the 'Hounds, led by Chad Oberacker's spectacular, diving catch in deep right-center in the third inning, taking an RBI extra base hit away from Kaleb Cowart, a hit which would have tied the game at 1-1.
Jeremy Barfield and Tyler Ladendorf threw out Arkansas' Matt Long in the fifth inning, when he attempted to turn a double into a triple. Barfield's assist, his second of the season, was his 40th as a RockHound.
Jefry Marte, Ladendorf and Anthony Aliotti backed Byrd with a tremendous, around the horn double play in the ninth, and Marte and Aliotti then combined on a nice play to end the game (Aliotti scooped a one-hop throw on both plays).
Dusty Coleman walked twice, stole a base and scored two runs … catcher Nick Rickles (in his first appearance) drove in two runs … and Marte had an RBI double and a runs scored.
The 'Hounds keep a one-game lead over Corpus Christi (3-1) in the Texas League South.
Kibbles & Bits
- Carlos Hernandez won for the 26th time as a member of the RockHounds and is now fourth all-time in franchise history. The three pitchers above him are all from the Cubs era, with Jon Perlman holding the all-time mark at 31. Carlos' .742 winning percentage (26-9) is second all-time for the Cubs, Angels & RockHounds.
- In their first four games, the 'Hounds have outscored their opponents 30-5 with a team ERA of 1.00.
- Reliever Sergio Perez has been placed on the disabled list after suffering a groin injury Friday night.
- Former UT-Arlington pitcher Nate Long has joined the RockHounds to fill Perez' roster spot. Nate had been assigned to the (AAA) Sacramento RiverCats to open the season but had not made an appearance for the 'Cats. He made his RockHounds debut Sunday.
- The 'Hounds and Travelers meet Monday and Tuesday evenings, followed by a league-wide off day for travel. The RockHounds then open the season's first homestand, hosting Northwest Arkansas and the Travelers. Opening Night is Thursday, April 11.
Line Score R H E LOB
RockHounds 4 6 0 10
Arkansas Travelers 1 6 1 9
WP Carlos Hernandez (1-0, 0.00)
LP Lay Batista (0-1, 7.36)
Sv Darren Byrd (1, 0.00)
Monday, April 8 7:10 p.m. Radio at 7:00 p.m.
RockHounds at Arkansas Travelers
Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas
RockHounds Home Opener
Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m.
vs. NW Arkansas Naturals (KC Royals Double-A Affiliate)
Monday's Probable Starters
RockHounds (RH) Arnold Leon (First start of 2013)
Arkansas (RH) Matt Oye (First start of 2013)