FRISCO, TEXAS (June 7, 2014) - The Midland RockHounds defeated the RoughRiders 6-1 to take game one of a critical four-game series Saturday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Frisco starter Edwar Cabrera issued two singles to his first two batters, Billy Burns and Dusty Coleman, and both runners advanced into scoring position on a one-out double steal. Cabrera used a fly ball out to right and a swinging strike out of Miles Head to avoid the quick scoring threat.
The RockHounds drew first blood in the fourth inning on Jefry Marte's two-out RBI double to right-centerfield. Josh Whitaker reached base on a fielder's choice and stole second, but Tomas Telis' throw tailed right past the glove of Odubel Herrera. Whitaker trotted to third on the error and later scored on Marte's double to make it 1-0 Midland.
Frisco (36-24) gave up another two-out run in the fifth frame after Max Muncy singled home Burns from third making it 2-0, and Midland scored their third run of the contest on a third two-out single off the bat of Blake Forsythe that dropped in front of centerfielder Jake Skole. Wilmer Font relieved Cabrera (2-3) after allowing the RockHounds to take the 3-0 lead.
The RockHounds (33-28) were not finished and added a fourth insurance run in the seventh inning on their tenth base hit of the night. With Font still on the mound, Whitaker singled to left field and Burns scored easily from second to push the lead to 4-0.
Midland starter Zach Neal (2-0) pitched 7.2 shut out innings and allowed six base hits with six strikeouts. Cabrera was able to pitch 5.2 innings and gave up three earned runs on nine base hits. The righty walked one hitter and struck out five.
Font found himself in a rough spot with runners on the corners and two out, but Marte was called out on strikes and the 'Riders returned to the dugout to focus on mounting a comeback.
Skole ripped a one-out double to the gap in left-center in the eighth inning, but the 'Riders were not able to get him home and the game entered the ninth frame.
Ryan Rodebaugh gave up a lead off walk to Coleman and Muncy doubled to right to put two runners in scoring position with no one out. Whitaker hit a sharp line drive to left to score the runners and Midland took a 6-0 lead.
Frisco put a man on base in the bottom of the ninth when Guilder Rodriguez walked to get things started, but the bases were wiped clean on a 6-3 double play. Jake Smolinski sent a two-out double off of Frank Gailey down the left field line and Telis followed suit with an RBI triple to bust the shutout and make the score 6-1 RockHounds.
The 'Riders made even more noise when they put runners on the corners with a Ryan Rua walk, but Gailey induced a Herrera ground ball out to short to end the game.
The RoughRiders turn to right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (4-4, 4.41 ERA) in game two of this series as they look to even things up and close the gap in the first-half standings, while fellow righty Drew Granier (2-2, 3.69 ERA) gets the ball for Midland. First pitch is at 7:05 at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.