The RockHounds turned in a "tasty" performance on the next-to-last "Thirsty Thursday" of the 2013 season, defeating the Tulsa Drillers, 5-3, in one of the more "complete" home performances of the season.
Zach Neal gave the 'Hounds an outstanding "quality start" on the mound, allowing one run on two hits over six innings. The right-hander gave up a lead-off double to open the game, as Tulsa took a 1-0 lead, then allowed just two more base runners through the sixth inning.
The 'Hounds answered Tulsa's run immediately, tying the game in the home half of the first on singles by Conner Crumbliss and D'Arby Myers and a two-out RBI double from Tyler Ladendorf. The RockHounds then took the lead for good in the second when Ryan Lipkin doubled and scored on Darwin Pérez' single. Crumbliss added an RBI single in the fourth, making Tulsa starter Tyler Matzek pay the price for a pair of walks to open the inning.
Ladendorf then drove in what would be the game-winning runs with a two-run single in the seventh, again capitalizing on walks (this time issued by Drillers reliever Kenny Roberts).
In each of the three games in the series, the losing team did not "go gentle into that goodnight." Thursday it was Tulsa providing the late comeback, scoring twice on three hits (all with two out) before the 'Hounds slammed the door to claim the series win (2-games-to-1).
Kibbles & Bits
- D'Arby Myers ran his remarkable hit streak to 24 games, going 3-for-4 with a walk. He is now 38-for-98 (.388) in the 24-gamer, which is seven games longer than the previous season high in the Texas League. Records from the franchise's early years are not complete, so determining where the streak ranks in franchise history is virtually impossible. Suffice to say, it is one of (if not THE) longest in the franchise's 42 years.
- D'Arby and Conner Crumbliss were nearly perfect at the top of the batting order. The 'Hounds' # 1 and # 2 hitters went a combined 6-for-7 with three walks, reaching base in a combined 9-of-10-trips, and combined for three runs and one RBI.
- Conner has now reached base in 32-of-his-last-34 games and (despite playing in ranks. Despite playing in only 60-percent of the team's 125 games (he opened the season with the Triple-A Sacramento RiverCats), Crumbliss is fifth in the league with 58 walks (in 75 games) and third in on-base percentage (.411).
- Tyler Ladendorf busted out of a 2-for-16 slump on a 2-for-4 night including a double and three runs batted in (including the game-winners).
- Darwin Perez ran his hit streak to six games, going 1-for-3 (plus a walk) with an RBI. He's 7-for-20 (.350) in the six-gamer.
- Zach Neal and Jesus Castillo pitched the first eight innings (Zach earned his eighth win with the quality start, going the first six), allowing just two hits and a total of four base runners. Tulsa had two hits over the first eight-and-two-thirds innings before rallying with two runs on three hits with two out in the ninth. RockHounds pitchers recorded 19 ground ball outs in the game.
- The RockHounds are home this weekend, hosting the Springfield Cardinals … Friday & Saturday at 7 o'clock and Sunday at 6.
- The weekend includes Adult Jersey Night (Friday) and one of two remaining fireworks shows in the 2013 season (Saturday).
WP: Zach Neal (8-10, 4.17)
LP: Tyler Matzek (8-8, 3.53)
vs. Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals' AA Affiliate)
Friday, August 16 - 7:00 p.m. (Radio at 6:55 p.m.)
Springfield: (RH) Zach Petrick - (2-1, 4.15)
RockHounds: (RH) Sean Murphy - (6-6, 3.95)