The RockHounds and Northwest Arkansas Naturals played 12 innings of baseball Friday night … with the game ultimately decided on a pair of split-second calls.
Dusty Coleman beat out an infield single leading off the RockHounds' 12th inning and, moments later, stole second base. Each play was a "safe" call by the slightest of margins. The 'Hounds added a pair of walks to load the bases and Darwin Perez lifted a fly ball to left, bringing Coleman home with the game-winning run.
For the second consecutive night, the RockHounds busted out to a 5-1 lead and, as they did Thursday, the Naturals rallied back. Manny Pina's two-run single capped a three-run seventh inning, tying the game at 5-5. Although both clubs threatened to score, the game remained deadlocked until the 12th.
More than half of the RockHounds' hits were doubles (eight-of-14), including seven of their first 10. The 'Hounds scored three runs four of the two-base hits in the second inning, with Jeremy Barfield, David Freitas, Chad Oberacker, and Anthony Aliotti each doubling, the latter three driving in runs.
Ironically, after the last of the doubles (in the eighth), the 'Hounds recorded only two more hits, both of them infield singles, including Coleman's key single in extra innings.
The RockHounds committed three errors, two of them by the usually sure-handed Perez, but the second baseman not only contributed the game-wininng RBI, he also made a tremendous play in the eighth inning to deny Northwest Arkansas the go-ahead run. Perez ranged to his left onto the outfield grass to snare a ground ball off the bat of Rey Navarro, then spun 270-degrees to make the throw to first, retiring the side.
Kibbles & Bits
- The RockHounds have outscored their opponents, 45-20, in the season's first eight games.
- Chad Oberacker had a four-hit game, going 4-for-6 with a run and an RBI (his team-leading ninth of the year).
- Jeff Urlaub pitched two scoreless innings for his first Double-A win and made a huge play in the 12th. After Whit Merrifield bunted his way on with one out, Urlaub picked him off first base.
- Corpus Christi fell at Springfield (Missouri) to the Cardinals, so the 'Hounds regained a share of first place in the Texas League South with the Hooks (both clubs are 6-2). San Antonio and Frisco are both 4-4, two games back..
Line Score R H E LOB
NW Arkansas Naturals 5 12 1 12
RockHounds 6 14 3 13
WP Jeff Urlaub (1-0, 4.15)
LP Cole White (0-1, 2.25)
vs. NW Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals' A Affiliate)
Saturday, April 13 7:00 p.m. Radio at 6:50 p.m.
At Citibank Ballpark
NW Arkansas (RH) Yordano Ventura (0-0, 3.60)
RockHounds (RH) Carlos Hernandez (1-0, 0.00)