FRISCO, TEXAS (APRIL 17, 2014) - The Frisco RoughRiders brought the magic from the seven-game winning streak back to the friendly confines of Dr Pepper Ballpark Thursday night. Jake Skole capped a late game comeback against the Corpus Christi Hooks with a game-winning single to extend the winning streak to eight games.
Nick Martinez took the mound for Frisco and he opposed Hooks lefty Colton Cain. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery for a season to turn around, and for Ryan Rua, that proved to be correct on Thursday night. The 'Riders third baseman continued to crush the ball following his road trip where he hit his first homer of the season and had three consecutive multi-hit games. Rua sent a ball packing to left field in the bottom of the second off of Cain to make the score 1-0.
Frisco made more noise in the fourth frame when Jake Smolinski led off the inning with a walk. The RoughRiders clean up hitter then got caught trying to advance on a ball in the dirt after Hooks catcher Rene Garcia made a nice recovery to throw out Smolinski on his way back to first base. Drew Robinson was able to reach base on Cain's second walk of the inning and then advanced to second on a wild pitch by the Hooks lefty. With Rua making his second plate appearance of the night and wanting to avoid another mistake, Cain held the 'Riders scoreless with a two-out groundball to Hooks shortstop Jio Mier.
Corpus Christi also had something to say in the top of the fifth, forcing Martinez into a pickle. Martinez gave up a lead off single to Garcia but struck out his next to hitters. After Garcia moved to second on a wild pitch, Martinez walked Nolan Fontana and Andrew Aplin to load the bases. Hooks third baseman Matt Duffy hit what would normally be a ground ball to third to end the inning, but a hustling Aplin was called safe at second on the fielder's choice, which gave Duffy the RBI and the Hooks their first run of the game to tie 1-1.
Left-hander Edwar Cabrera came on in relief of Martinez. After letting a wild pitch get halfway to the backstop, Tomas Telis fired a strike back to Cabrera who applied the tag to Fontana to end the threat.
Corpus Christi picked up where they left off in the sixth inning when Preston Tucker led off the frame with a home run to right field, breaking the tie and making it 2-1 Hooks. Cabrera walked Leo Heras and Telvin Nash singled to center, but the Frisco hurler got out of the inning by getting Delino DeShields Jr. to pop up to shortstop Luis Sardinas.
With the Hooks up 2-1 and Frisco looking to keep the seven game winning streak alive, Sardinas hit an infield single to get things started in the bottom of the eighth off of Hooks reliever Brady Rodgers. Rougned Odor moved Sardinas over on a sacrifice bunt and Jordan Brown drew an intentional walk to put two men on. That brought up Smolinski, who reached first on a throwing error by Duffy. Sardinas, with his head in the game, realized the ball got away from Nash and trotted home to tie the game at 2-2.
Wilmer Font came on in relief of Ryan Rodebaugh to set the tone in the top of the ninth and did just that by having a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts and a ground ball to first.
In hopes of finding some ninth inning magic at Dr Pepper Ballpark for the first time this season, Trever Adams began the frame with a single to right field off of Rodgers and Rua was hit by a pitch. Telis quickly moved the runners over on a sacrifice bunt and then it was time for Skole to shine. The RoughRiders centerfielder drove a pitch right up the middle to send everyone home and keep the winning streak alive.
Frisco (9-4) continues their series against the Corpus Christi Hooks tomorrow night at 7:05 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Right-hander Alec Asher (1-0, 4.22 ERA) gets the ball for Frisco and will face off against Aaron West (2-0, 2.84 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.