NORTH LITTLE ROCK - There was a South Carolina flavor for the Arkansas Travelers during their 3-0 victory over the Midland RockHounds on Tuesday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. Former Gamecocks Michael Roth (1-0) and Michael Cisco combined with Nick Maronde and Kevin Johnson for a four-hit shutout. Roth earned the win in his Double-A debut after the Los Angeles Angels promoted last year's ninth round draft choice over Single-A.
Matt Long, Jett Bandy and Rolando Gomez each collected an RBI in the win which helped the Travs salvage the final game of a three-game series against the RockHounds. The Travs win evens their record at 3-3 heading into the first off-day of the season. The RockHounds had won their first five of the season and travel back to Midland at 5-1.
Roth earned the win over RockHounds righty Murphy Smith (1-1) who only allowed one run in a six-inning start. Smith retired the first nine Travs batters before Travis Witherspoon walloped his first pitch of the fourth inning to left-center for a triple. Long followed with a hard ground ball single to center for a 1-0 lead.
RockHounds batters reached base to begin the second and third innings, but Roth was able to induce a double play each frame. After a leadoff walk issued to Jefry Marte in the second, Jeremy Barfield flied out then Roth got Miles Head to bounce to Rolando Gomez at shortstop to begin a 6-4 3 double play.
Roth gave up an infield single to Jake Goebbert to begin the third inning, but bounced back with a strikeout of Tyler Ladendorf. Goebbert attempted a delayed steal on the third strike and was caught at second base by catcher Jett Bandy.
Roth finished five innings allowing just four base hits and a walk while striking out three. Maronde pitched around a hit batter and a walk in the sixth inning leaving runners at second and third base then gave way to Cisco who was perfect in two innings.
Meanwhile the Travs brought in two more runs in the eighth inning against RockHounds lefty Jeff Urlaub. Randal Grichuk hit a one-out single and beat a throw to second base on Andrew Heid's grounder to the shortstop hole. Bandy then ripped a single down the third-base line scoring Grichuk while Heid advanced to third. Gomez then increased the Travs lead to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
Kevin Johnson pitched around a leadoff walk adding two punchouts for the save in the ninth.
The Travs now enjoy their first off day of the season before hitting the road for a six-game trip to Frisco and Midland. The RoughRiders welcome the Travs to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Thursday night for the first of a three-game series. Right hander Jarrett Grube (1-0) will take the hill for Arkansas against Frisco righty Cody Buckel (0-1). First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.