SAN ANTONIO - The Corpus Christi Hooks earned another extra-inning victory Thursday night by defeating the San Antonio Missions 3-2 in 11 innings, ending their eight-game road trip with a 4-4 record.
The Hooks are now 6-1 in overtime games, having won five straight in extras, including a 13-inning game on Wednesday and a 12-inning contest that took parts of two days to complete in the series opener.
Thursday night marked Corpus Christi's first road series victory since a sweep at Springfield April 6-8.
Joe Sclafani led off the visitor's half of the 11th with his third hit of the contest - his second three-hit performance in as many days. He was moved into scoring position when San Antonio reliever Leonel Campos was charged with a balk, and Rene Garcia sacrificed him to third. Jio Mier, who scored the winning run in Wednesday's extra-inning affair, pushed across the go-ahead run with a double over the head of Rymer Liriano in left.
Alex Sogard came on to close the 11th, but not without drama. Jason Hagerty reached on an error by Mier at shortstop. Sogard then walked Austin Hedges, putting the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
Mier recovered by starting an exceptional 6-4-3 double play. Hagerty moved to third on the twin killing. Sogard struck out Yeison Asencio to secure his second save.
The Hooks struck first with one run in the opening frame. Nolan Fontana was walked on four pitches by San Antonio's Odrisamer Despaigne, and moved to second on a two-out single by Matt Duffy. Leo Heras followed with a single to center field, scoring Fontana from second.
Despaigne did not allow a hit in his remaining two innings, retiring the side in order in the second and working around a lead -off walk to Fontana in the third before giving way to James Needy. The Missions starter struck out six - two in each inning.
Hooks starter Kyle Smith faced two batters over the minimum through the first four innings in his best outing as a Hook.
Hedges, San Diego's top prospect, tied the game with one swing of the bat. He took a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left field for his third homer of the season. The long ball was one of two hits Smith allowed in six innings of work - the other a two-bagger by the Missions catcher in the second inning. Smith walked two and struck out four.
Needy continued with a superb effort in relief of Despaigne. The 6-6 righty worked consecutive 1-2-3 frames in the fifth and sixth. The single he allowed in the fourth was erased with an inning-ending double play, and Garcia was caught stealing after a base hit in the seventh to keep Needy at the minimum through his first five innings.
Tommy Shirley entered in the bottom of the seventh for the Hooks and quickly found himself in trouble. The Missions opened the frame with consecutive singles by Rymer Liriano and Hagerty, and loaded the bases when Shirley attempted to get the lead runner out at third instead of taking the easy out at first on a sac bunt from Hedges.
The Missions took a 2-1 lead during the next at-bat when Orr, a pinch-hitter, plated Liriano with a sac fly. Shirley limited the damage to one run by inducing a popup by Asencio and fanning Brian Bixler.
Needy issued a pair of two-out walks to Fontana and Preston Tucker in the eighth. Duffy, who entered the game second in the Texas League in RBIs, knocked in his 28th run of the season with a base hit to right field to knot the contest at 2-2.
Shirley sent the game into extras by sandwiching a two-out Asencio base hit between a trio of strikeouts. He fanned six batters in four innings. He surrendered four hits and walked two en route to his fourth victory.
The Hooks return home on Friday to open a four-game series against the Midland RockHounds. CPL Retail Energy presents the Zooperstars, and Bud Light showcases postgame Friday Fireworks. First pitch is 7:10.