CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (APRIL 27, 2014) - A solo home run by Ryan Rua in the ninth inning untied the score and the 'Riders took their second straight game at Whataburger Field with a 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon.
Rua crushed the first pitch of the frame from Jorge De Leon, a 96-mph fastball, over the wall in left and extended his on-base streak to 20 games.
The third baseman from Amherst, Ohio salvaged the game for the RoughRiders, who mustered a total of three base hits after the third inning. Rua also ended the game with a spectacular grab on a line drive from Corpus Christi's Rene Garcia in the bottom of the ninth.
Frisco's pitching struggled to find the strike zone on a humid afternoon and surrendered 11 walks to the Hooks. Despite the abundance of free baserunners, Corpus Christi failed repeatedly to score runs necessary to win the ballgame.
The Hooks finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men stranded. They loaded the bases in three separate innings, but plated a total of one run.
With the win, Frisco (16-7) moves to 5-2 against the Hooks this season. The team has won as many games on the road (8) as they have at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Corpus Christi (13-10) falls three games behind the RoughRiders in the Texas League South Division.
The RoughRiders fell behind in each of the first two games of the series, but broke the trend on Sunday. Designated hitter Jordan Brown drove out his fourth home run of the season-all on the road-and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The advantage proved short-lived. RoughRiders starter Kyle Lotzkar allowed the first two batters to reach in the bottom of the first. A balk placed Chris Epps on third base and the Hooks' right fielder scored when teammate Andrew Aplin grounded out to second.
After a scoreless second inning for both sides, Frisco tallied the board for two runs in the third. Trever Adams cranked the second solo home run of the game off Hooks starter Aaron West. Adams' third homer of the season gave the 'Riders their first multi-home run game since April 22.
Neither starter lasted long as temperatures hovered in the low 90s in south Texas. West lasted 2 2/3 innings for the Hooks and exited the game abruptly with an undisclosed injury. His replacement, Andrew Robinson, gave up an RBI single to Drew Robinson (no relation) that scored Brown and gave the RoughRiders a two-run lead.
Lotzkar threw an expected three innings and 62 pitches on the mound. The right-hander continues to build arm strength in the aftermath of an injury-plagued 2013 season.
Frisco newcomer Ryan Bores, a recent call-up from Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, made his second appearance for the RoughRiders. The Hooks narrowed the gap to one-run when second baseman Rougned Odor lost a shallow fly ball from Jio Mier in the afternoon sun. Mier's soft single plated Leo Heras and made the score 3-2 'Riders.
Corpus Christi hung around and loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs on three consecutive walks from Phil Klein.
The 6-foot-7 right-hander handed the reins over Francisco Mendoza, seven inches Klein's junior. Mendoza retired the next three batters in order, but the Hooks scored regardless on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Joe Sclafani.
Mendoza started the eighth inning quickly and recorded two outs in as many batters faced. However the right-hander tired and packed the bases with three consecutive walks. With the game hanging in the balance, Mendoza induced a pop fly from Preston Tucker to escape the frame and turn the mound over to Wilmer Font, who earned his third save in as many opportunities.
The 'Riders and Hooks conclude their four-game series on Monday at 7:10 p.m. Coverage begins live on www.ridersbaseball.com at 6:45 p.m. with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show. The team returns to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Saturday, May 3 and will welcome the Midland RockHounds to the Metroplex for the first time in 2014.