FRISCO, TEXAS (June 8, 2014) - The Midland RockHounds took game two from the RoughRiders 7-1 on Sunday afternoon at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The 'Hounds tallied six extra-base hits and popped two home runs in the matinee contest.
Eickhoff began his outing by retiring his first four hitters with three strikeouts and a pop up to centerfield, but Anthony Aliotti opened up the scoring with his fourth homer of the year on the first pitch of his at-bat.
The 'Riders hurler issued back-to-back singles to Jefry Marte and Beau Taylor following the homer, but the righty got Dusty Coleman to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the Midland half of the second.
Josh Whitaker ripped a ball off of the glove of a diving Ryan Rua at third for an infield single and he later scored on Aliotti's RBI double to the gap in right-centerfield to make it 2-0 RockHounds.
The RoughRiders (36-25), looking to even up the series, struck in the bottom half of the fourth to cut the Midland lead in half. Drew Granier (3-2) started for the RockHounds and Jake Smolinski said hello by hitting a single to left. Smolinski advanced to second on a Rua ground ball out to the shortstop Coleman. He later scored to make it 2-1 Midland when Trever Adams doubled to left-center.
Conner Crumbliss, taking exception to the surge from the 'Riders' offense, sent a pitch swimming to the Kroger Pool Zone in right field and put the RockHounds up 3-1 on his third long ball of the season.
Whitaker got in on the action with a single to center and scored easily on Marte's double to left-center making it 4-1. The hit was Midland's fourth extra-base knock of the afternoon and it ended Eickhoff's outing. Eickhoff pitched well and racked up nine strikeouts in his 5.2 innings pitched, but he couldn't avoid the long ball as Midland popped two home runs off of him and scored four runs on eight base hits.
The RockHounds (34-28) were not finished adding to their lead as they tacked on a fifth run in the seventh on Billy Burns' RBI double. Chad Oberacker got all of a Jimmy Reyes pitch and tripled to right-center and scored on Burns' double, which increased the lead to 5-1.
Granier set the tone for his club and allowed one earned run in his six innings pitched, while walking one and striking out four Frisco hitters.
Midland's bats were on target as they sent another extra-base hit to the gap making it 6-1 as Burns scored from second on Crumbliss' RBI knock, and the 'Hounds tacked on one more with a grounder to short that deflected off of pitcher Francisco Mendoza.
Mendoza returned in the eighth and struck out the side (two looking and one swinging). Murphy Smith entered the game for the 'Hounds in the ninth and quickly retired Odubel Herrera on called strikes, but a Teodoro Martinez single and a Drew Robinson double put two in scoring position with one out. The 'Riders made the score 7-2 when Guilder Rodriguez grounded out to second, but Patrick Cantwell grounded out to end the ballgame.
Game three of this series is Monday at 7:05 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Luke Jackson (7-2, 2.55 ERA) starts for the 'Riders and he will oppose righty Shawn Haviland (3-4, 3.29 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.