RockHounds third baseman Vinnie Catricala … like the RockHounds as a team … had an up-and-down Thursday night.
- In the fourth, Vinnie's solo home run (a towering drive to deep left-center) gave the RockHounds a 4-3 lead.
- In the fifth, his fielding error allowed the Hooks to tie the game at 4-4.
- In the sixth, he was called out on strikes, with Hooks starter Nick Tropeano throwing just one pitch.
Vinnie, disagreeing with a called strike one, stepped out of the batter's box. Home plate umpire Ron Teague ordered Catricala to get back in the box and, when Vinnie didn't get back in, Teague called an "automatic strike" (which is the umpire's discretionary right). A third automatic strike followed, after which Vinnie (who had now struck out on "one pitch") was ejected.
The game itself went much the same way. The RockHounds took the lead three times, the first on Jake Goebbert 's two-run home run in the top of the first. Preston Tucker answered with a two-run shot for the Hooks in the home half of the first, and Corpus Christi would respond each time the 'Hounds took a lead.
With the bases empty and two out in the fifth, Max Stassi singled to center. Two wild pitches by RockHounds starter Murphy Smith pushed Stassi to third, and he scored on Catricala's fielding error (on what would have been the third out of the inning). A walk and another wild pitch later, Jonathan Meyer's infield single broke the tie, and the 5-4 score would hold up the rest of the way. Corpus Christi tied the game and took the lead while getting just one ball out of the infield (Stassi's single) in the fifth.
Jefry Marte (who replaced Catricala after the ejection) opened the ninth with a 400-foot double to center, but reliever Jonas Dufek got the next three batters to end the game, recording his first save.
Kibbles & Bits
- D'Arby Myers (2-for-4, two runs) extended his hit streak to 13 games. In the streak, which is the sixth-longest in the Texas League this season, D'Arby is now 22-for-50 (.440).
- Jake Goebbert 's two-run home run (his team-high 18th) gives him a league-leading 75 RBI (one ahead of Northwest Arkansas' Matt Fields).
- The win was Corpus Christi's eighth-in-a-row over the RockHounds. The 'Hounds are 7-18 against the Hooks and virtually .500 (42-44) against the rest of the Texas League.
- Thursday's game was the first of 10-in-a-row (11 days) for the RockHounds, and the first of a four-game series at Corpus Christi. The 'Hounds will also travel to Tulsa (OK) and Springfield (MO) on the road swing before returning to Citibank Ballpark Tuesday, August 13.
WP: Nick Tropeano (5-7, 4.34)
LP: Murphy Smith (8-8, 3.57)
SV: Jonas Dufek (1, 0.00)
HR: RockHounds - Jake Goebbert (18) A 2-run HR in the 1st (off Nick Tropeano) Corpus Christi - Preston Tucker (6) A 2-run HR in the 1st (off Murphy Smith)
RockHounds - Vinnie Catricala (2) Solo in the 4th (off Nick Tropeano)
vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros' AA Affiliate)
Friday, August 2 - 7:05 p.m. (Radio at 7:00 p.m.)
Whataburger Field - Corpus Christi, TX
RockHounds: (RH) - Zach Neal (7-9, 4.40)
Corpus Christi: (RH) - Ross Seaton (3-1, 5.00)