In the first two games of their three-game series at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the RockHounds and Drillers played nearly seven hours of baseball, but it wasn't exactly "Abner Doubleday, 101."
Thursday night, the clubs got "back to basics" with key hits, good pitching and solid (at times sensational) defense, but the result was the same for the 'Hounds, as Tulsa rallied for a 4-2 win to complete a sweep of the three-game set.
Conner Crumbliss homered to lead off the game and Max Muncy hit his first Double-A home run leading off the fifth (see below).
Zach Neal retired the first 13 hitters he faced, then escaped a three-hit fifth inning to hold the 2-0 lead. Christian Adames singled with one out and was running on Joey Wong's single to right. Josh Whitaker came up firing and Tyler Ladendorf deked Adames into thinking no throw was coming. The putout at third would save a run and maintain the 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, however, Tulsa would break through with one walk, four hits, and a pair of sacrifice flies bringing home four runs.
The 'Hounds put two men on in the eighth and ninth, but could not cut the lead.
Both clubs turned in "web gem" level defense, including a sliding catch in right from Tulsa's Tyler Kuhn and a diving, back-handed stop by Drillers' third baseman Joey Wong on Ladendorf's liner down the line. Wong then threw to second base for a force out. In addition to the Whitaker-to-Ladendorf play in the fifth, RockHounds' second baseman Darwin Perez got Delta Clearly, Jr. on a terrific play up the middle, getting to the ball and throwing Cleary, Jr. out with a brilliant mid-air turn-and throw.
Kibbles & Bits
- D'Arby Myers (1-for-4) extended his hit streak to 18 games, passing Rey Navarro of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals for the longest hit streak in the 2013 Texas League season. D'Arby is now 28-for-72 (.389) in the 18-gamer.
- Conner Crumbliss returned to the lineup for the first time on the road trip after being sidelined by a left hamstring strain. He homered in the game's first at bat (a "Rickey Henderson home run") and finished 2-for-4. Crumbliss has now reached base in 27-of-28 games (including, at one point, a 25-game on-base streak) and ranks third in the Texas League with a .410 on-base percentage.
- Max Muncy sent a Christian Bergman pitch over the right field wall onto the grass berm in the fifth for his first home run as a member of the RockHounds. The Midland native (he was born here) and Baylor University product hit 21 homers with 76 RBI for (Advanced-A) Stockton. After a slow start at the Double-A level, Max has now hit in 10-of-his-last-12 games with the 'Hounds, going 14-44 (.318) in that time.
- Tulsa, first half champion in the North Division, won its fifth straight (corrected) and ninth in its last 11 games.
- The RockHounds fell to 1-6 in the first seven games of their 10-game road trip (see below).
- The RockHounds' 10-game, 11-day road trip reaches its final stage when the club opens a three-game series in Springfield, Missouri, against the Cardinals. The clubs play Friday (7:09), Saturday and Sunday (6:09) at Hammons Field, followed by a league-wide travel / off day. The 'Hounds' then open a six-game home stand (hosting Tulsa and Springfield), beginning Tuesday, August 13.
WP: Christian Bergman (7-7, 3.28)
LP: Zach Neal (7-10, 4.24)
SV: Cole White (15)
HR: RockHounds Conner Crumbliss (8) Solo in the 1st (off Christian Bergman)
RockHounds Max Muncy (1) Solo in the 5th (off Christian Bergman)
vs. Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals' AA Affiliate)
Friday, August 9 - 7:09 p.m. No broadcast Friday
Hammons Field - Springfield, MO
RockHounds: (LH) Carlos Hernandez (7-7, 2.21)
Springfield: (RH) Zach Petrick (2-1, 4.71)