Little Rock - The Midland RockHounds staved off a sweep on Saturday night with a 3-2 victory over the Arkansas Travelers at Dickey-Stephens Park. Raul Alcantara (2-0) earned the win by allowing one run on five hits in 6.2 innings while striking out seven batters. Shortstop Eric Stamets led the Travs with a 2-for-3 night including a run scored and a run batted in.
The Travs still earned the series win with victories in two-of-three from Midland and head into a three-game set with the Frisco RoughRiders beginning on Sunday with a 6-3 record.
The RockHounds led wire-to-wire and took the lead in the first inning against Travs lefty Kramer Sneed (1-1). Billy Burns and D'Arby Myers singled before a Connor Crumbliss fielder's choice moved them to second and third before Dusty Coleman lifted a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 RockHounds lead.
Sneed allowed a home run to first baseman Jefry Marte to begin the second inning to fall behind 2-0.
In the loss Sneed allowed two runs on five hits, but added four walks in four innings. He left seven Midland runners on base before giving way to Ryan Chaffee in the fifth.
Alcantara set down six of seven Travs batters before Stamets hit a single to start the third inning. Andy Workman was hit by a pitch to move Stamets into scoring position. Then Kyle Hudson laid a sacrifice bunt before Shawn O'Malley reached on a catcher's interference charged to Jose Chavez, loading the bases with one out. The Travs managed just one run when Kaleb Cowart grounded out to second base scoring Stamets. Alcantara then struck out Zach Borenstein to end the inning with Midland leading 2-1.
The Travs threatened in the fifth inning with singles by Mike Snyder and Drew Heid, but Alcantara got Stamets to fly to left field before Workman popped out to end the threat.
Kyle Hudson singled to begin the fifth inning, but was picked off by Alcantara for the first out. Kaleb Cowart hit an infield single with two out, but was stranded when Alcantara struck Borenstein out for the third time, which keyed a string of six outs for Alcantara.
Frank Gailey relieved for the seventh with two outs and retired his one batter. He then came back for the eighth and set the Travs down in order.
The RockHounds got to Kevin Johnson in the seventh inning for a run on two base hits. Coleman hit a leadoff single which Max Muncy followed with a single. A one-out double steal caught the Travs off guard with no throw to a base. With the infield in, Josh Whitaker hit a high chopper that Stamets grabbed with a leap but a run scored when he threw Whitaker out giving Midland a 3-1 lead.
RockHounds closer Seth Frankoff came out for the ninth and got into a bit of trouble when Jett Bandy's bouncer to third baseman Miles Head was thrown wildly past first base. Bandy advanced to second base and scored on a two-out single by Stamets. But pinch hitter Alex Yarbrough struck out to end the game giving Frankoff his second save.
Time of game was 3:06 and the paid attendance was 6,150.
On Sunday the Frisco RoughRiders come to Dickey-Stephens Park to begin a three-game series. Travs righty Yeiper Castillo (1-0, 1.80) pitches against Texas Rangers lefty Matt Harrison, who makes his second rehab start with Frisco. Game time is 4:10 and the gates open at 3:10 p.m.