San Antonio, Texas - The Arkansas Travelers answered back on Wednesday night with a 1-0 victory over the San Antonio Missions to even the Texas League Championship Series at 1-1. Michael Roth (2-0) tossed seven scoreless innings to earn the win while David Carpenter and Michael Morin (3rd save) each threw one inning to help the Travs bounce back from Tuesday's 1-0 defeat.
Randal Grichuk came up big at the plate and in the field with the game's only RBI and an outfield assist at home plate. The Travs scored the game's only run in the second inning and allowed Roth to go to work. He had two stretches of seven outs in a row, walked just one batter and struck out three while allowing just four base hits.
The second-inning rally started after Kaleb Cowart was thrown out at second base by left fielder Adam Buschini attempting to stretch a single into a double. Travis Witherspoon worked a two-out walk and advanced to third base when Carlos Ramirez hit a bloop single on a 3-2 count. Grichuk got ahead 2-0 and lined a single to center to knock home Witherspoon.
Grichuk came up big again in the bottom of the second inning in right field. Blackwood hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Austin Hedges dropped a one-out single near the right field line that sent Blackwood around third base. Grichuk hustled for the ball and fired to the plate stopping Blackwood in his tracks along the third-base line. Ramirez and third baseman Kaleb Cowart executed the rundown for the second out allowing Roth a chance to get out of the inning, which he did when Rocky Gale tapped back to the mound.
Roth got out of another sticky situation in the fifth inning leaving the tying run at second base. Yeison Asencio ended Roth's string of seven outs with a leadoff double, but Roth retired Hedges on a pop fly for the first out then got Rocky Gale and Lee Orr both to ground outs to hold the 1-0 lead.
The Travs set themselves up in the sixth inning after a single by Robbie Widlansky and a double by Jimmy Swift put runners at second and third with no outs. Widlansky was tagged out running for the plate on Kaleb Cowart's fielder's choice then Witherspoon struck out. With Ramirez batting Cowart was thrown out attempting to advance to second base on a pitch that popped out of Hedges mitt stranding Swift at third base.
Roth got into trouble in the seventh inning after a one-out walk and a fielding error put two runners on base for Hedges. However Roth got Hedges to ground up the middle where second baseman Taylor Lindsey was waiting to start an inning double play.
Roth exited in the eighth after allowing a leadoff infield single to Gale. Carpenter relieved and quickly got two outs when pinch hitter Robert Kral grounded to shortstop Jimmy Swift for a double play.
Morin had an uneventful ninth inning retiring the side in order for the third game during the 2013 post season.
The Texas League Championship Series shifts to Dickey-Stephens Park after a travel day. On Friday the series resumes with the third game set for a 7:10 first pitch in North Little Rock. The Travelers have Mark Sappington (1-0, 3.60 in postseason) scheduled to start against San Antonio's Donn Roach (0-0, 2.70 in playoffs).