The RockHounds' 2013 season didn't see as many wins as the team or its fans would have liked (62-78), but the 'Hounds put a nice "W" on the board Monday, in front of 3,503 enthusiastic fans at Rocky Town, defeating the Frisco RoughRiders, 5-3.
Frisco dominated the first two games of the series, and took an early 2-0 lead Monday afternoon, but the 'Hounds came back on Vinnie Catricala's impressive solo home run (cutting through a strong wind) in the third and a two-run single from Jefre Marte in the same inning.
The RoughRiders came back to tie the game at 3-3, manufacturing a run in the fourth, but the RockHounds responded again.
Josh Whitaker picked a "heckuva" time to steal his first base of the year. The 'Hounds' right fielder, who hadn't stolen a base in 31 games, led off the sixth with a walk, and promptly stole second base. After Catricala drew a one-out walk, the two combined on a double-steal, with Whitaker taking third and scoring what would be the game-winning run on a throwing error by Frisco catcher Tomas Telis. One out later, Conner Crumbliss sent an RBI single to left (with two out and a 1-2 count), scoring Catricala and building the lead to 5-3.
Relievers Brett Hunter and Jesus Castillo made the two-run lead stand up, pitching three scoreless innings in relief of starter Drew Granier.
Thank You, West Texas, For (Another) Record-Breaking Season!
Final 2013 season attendance was 317,233 … breaking the franchise record by more than six thousand fans !!
Kibbles & Bits
- Jefry Marte was one of the Texas League's hottest hitters over the last five weeks of the season, finishing the season on a 19-game on-base streak and hitting in 17-of-those-19 contests (32-76, .421). Over his last 27 games, the 'Hounds third baseman hit .365 (38-104).
- D'Arby Myers hit in 34-of-his-last-36 games, including a 33-game hit streak, the longest (by six games) in professional baseball in 2013. D'Arby raised his average by 30 points during the streak and finished the season ranked sixth in the Texas League, hitting .285.
- Conner Crumbliss reached base in 3-of-4 plate appearances Monday (two walks and an RBI single), finishing the season tied for eighth in the league batting race (.280) … third in on-base percentage (.405) … and fourth in walks with 69 (despite playing in just 92 games). Conner had on-base streaks of 24 and 25 games, and reached base in 47-of-his-last-51 games.
- Chad Oberacker finished the season as the league leader with 12 triples (fifth all-time in franchise history) and stole 17 bases in 18 attempts.
- Anthony Aliotti won the Teague batting title and the league's "percentage triple crown." Before his promotion to (Triple-A) Sacramento, "Ali" had more than enough plate appearances to qualify among the Texas League's final, official, leaders. He won the on-base percentage title by 21 points (.452) … the batting crown by 30 (.350) … and the slugging championship by 41 points (.541).
- Carlos Hernandez, in addition to becoming the franchise's all-time wins leader, recorded a 2.18 earned run average. He finished second in the 2013 Texas League and the ERA was the second-best in franchise history (Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Vin Mazzaro, 1.90, in 2008).
WP: Drew Granier (3-6, 5.23)
LP: Alex Claudio (1-5, 2.84)
SV: Jesus Castillo (1, 0.00)
HR: RockHounds - Vinnie Catricala (4) Solo in the 3rd (off Jared Eickhoff)
- Next game at Rocky Town: Thursday, April 3, 2014 … Opening Night! RockHounds vs. the Arkansas Travelers (Thirsty Thursday, seven o'clock first pitch, in case you wondered).