CORPUS CHRISTI - Corpus Christi's franchise-record 82nd win was marked by the 11th walk-off win of 2013 and a four-run ninth as the San Antonio Missions collapsed in a 10-9 decision Saturday at Whataburger Field before 7,157.
The Hooks and Missions, who meet here in the Texas League South Division Series starting Wednesday, combined for 33 hits, 13 for extra bases. Corpus Christi (40-28) needs one win to capture the TL South second-half title and earn home-field advantage.
Closer Jeremy McBryde (4-4) got Matt Duffy on a fly to left but Drew Muren doubled to left-center. An out later, he was still standing at the keystone when pinch-hitter Michael Burgess fanned.
McBryde then issued consecutive free passes to pinch-hitter Domingo Santana and Leo Heras, filling the bases.
Next came Ronny Torreyes, who lashed a game-tying three-run triple into the right-field corner. Preston Tucker's swinging bunt was fielded by catcher Austin Hedges, who threw the ball away as Torreyes crossed home. The speedy Tucker was credited with a hit as Hedges was unable to set his feet on the desperation sling.
Jonas Dufek worked a scoreless ninth, improving to 7-0 with three saves in just 13 appearances.
Tommy Medica spanked a Matt Heidenreich fastball into center field for a 1-0 Missions lead with two down in the first. Cory Spangenberg scored from second after driving a one-out double to the left-center field gap.
Torreyes' two-bagger off Josh Geer set the stage as Corpus Christi quickly equalized, Erik Castro providing an RBI single. Tucker's safety pushed Torreyes from second to third.
San Antonio (39-29) regained the lead three frames later, Medica's lead-off home run landing in the Hooks bullpen. From there, Heidenreich loaded the bases as Jake Blackwood singled, Yeison Asencio doubled and Hedges walked. On came Kyle Hallock, who fanned Everett Williams before giving up a deep sacrifice fly to Jeudy Valdez. That was the extent of the damage, as Rico Noel bounced out to second.
The Missions tagged Heidenreich for seven hits.
Luis Alvarez' first Double-A RBI pulled the Hooks to within a run through four at 3-2. Alvarez plated Duffy (double) by lifting a sacrifice fly to right.
Spangenberg was a central figure again in the fifth, his opening triple leading to San Antonio's fourth run. Adam Buschini followed with a sacrifice fly. From there, the Missions separated; Hallock uncorked a bases-loaded wild pitch and Asencio (double) and Williams (sacrifice fly) produced RBIs as the margin bulged to five.
But the Hooks responded right away, Torreyes, Tucker and Castro stringing together two singles and an RBI double, respectively, to unsettle Geer during a three-run home fifth. Duffy contributed a run-scoring single, Muren a sacrifice fly.
Geer, who turned the game over to Clay Zavada for the sixth, withstood 11 hits, walked one and struck out two.
Zavada achieved just two outs, his exit expedited when Castro walked to load the bases. Matt Branham arrested the insurrection, fanning Jonathan Meyer on a high full-count fastball.
Doubles from Medica and Hedges an out apart increased the Missions lead to three at 8-5 in the seventh. Hedges' rope welcomed Cameron Lamb, Hallock booking five runs and hits, two walks and two strikeouts over 3 1/3.
San Antonio added another singleton the next frame, Buschini's hard-hit grounder to Meyer at third scoring Noel (lead-off single). Spangenberg again helped the cause, dropping a sacrifice bunt. Corpus Christi matched in its half on Castro's sac fly.
Medica, Tucker and Torreyes, who extended his hitting streak to nine games, enjoyed four-hit nights. Spangenberg, Asencio and Duffy had three hits each.
Left-hander David Rollins (0-2) pitches for Corpus Christi Sunday at 6:05 vs. Juan Oramas (2-2). It's AT&T Shirt Off the Back Night and the Hooks present postgame fireworks.