Ali's Back & The 'Hounds Are Hangin' Tough
Anthony Aliotti entered the series at Frisco series 4-for-his-last-40. After sitting out Saturday night's game, "Ali" said "so long" to the slump, sending the first pitch he saw Sunday afternoon out to left-center for a solo home run, giving the Rockhounds a lead they would not surrender. He added an RBI double two innings later for a 2-0 lead, finishing the game 2-for-4 with three runs batted in as the 'Hounds won their second straight game in this critical series, defeating the RoughRiders, 7-2.
Drew Granier turned in a quality start, allowing one run (earned) on six hits, walking just one and striking out four. Along with Aliotti's bat coming to life, Conner Crumbliss had two RBI, including a key home run of his own. After Frisco chopped a 2-0 lead in half with a run in the fourth, Crumbliss led off the sixth ripping a solo shot to right field. Jefry Marte added an RBI double later in the sixth and the RockHounds scored three times in the seventh, keyed by Chad Oberacker's triple and an RBI double from Billy Burns. Aliotti and Crumbliss also drove in a run apiece in the three-run seventh, expanding the lead to 7-1.
The two RockHounds victories will, at least, postpone a Frisco pennant-clinching celebration. The RoughRiders can no longer claim the Texas League South Division first half pennant in this series, and the two remaining games will determine whether the RoughRiders will regain full control or if the RockHounds make it a "full tilt" pennant race.
WP: Drew Granier (3-2, 3.50)
LP: Jerad Eickhoff (4-5, 4.57)
HR: RockHounds - Anthony Aliotti (4) Solo in the second (off Jared Eickhoff)
RockHounds - Conner Crumbliss (3) Solo in the sixth (off Jared Eickhoff)
Kibbles & Bits
- Frisco's "magic number" remains at six … meaning any combination of RoughRider wins and/or RockHound losses totaling six wins the first half title. The 'Hounds and 'Riders meet Monday and Tuesday evenings at 7:05. NOTE: The original Frisco schedule listed June 10 (Tuesday) as a morning game. The time was later changed to 7:05 p.m. … also meaning the game will be carried on RockHounds Radio.
- Josh Whitaker (2-3, two runs, walk) extended his hit streak to 10 games. The 'Hounds outfielder is 17-40 (.425, HR, 10 RBI) in the 10-gamer and has hit in 13-of-his-last-14 (22-56, .393, HR, 13 RBI). Entering Sunday's games (the rest of the Texas League schedule was Sunday late afternoon and evening) Josh led the league with 41 RBI and was third in both batting average (now .326) and slugging percentage (.530).
- Billy Burns (1-5, run, double, RBI) is 5-for-10 in the series. The Texas League and Minor League Baseball have reviewed a play in the Tulsa series (originally ruled an error) and changed the scoring to an infield hit for Burns. With that hit included, Billy is now hitting .387 (24-62) scoring 12 runs, with three RBI, seven doubles, two triples and nine stolen bases (in 10 attempts) in his last 14 games.
- Conner Crumbliss (2-5, two runs, HR, two RBI) has hit in four straight games … going 6-for-17 with two doubles, a HR and two RBI.
- Jefry Marte (2-4, double, RBI) entered the series 4-for-his-last-40, but is 3-for-8 with two doubles and two RBI over the first two games.
- Drew Granier was the victim of an Arkansas outburst (and 40-mile-per-hour winds) Opening Night (April 3), allowing eight hits and seven runs (earned) in an inning-and-two-thirds. In his 11 starts since, the right-hander is 3-1, with a 2.66 earned run average.
- The Texas Rangers have added a pair of top five prospects to Frisco's roster - - - third baseman Joey Gallo and pitcher Alex Gonzalez. Gallo, rated Texas' # 4 prospect, led all of Minor League baseball with 40 home runs last season and hit 20 HR with 50 RBI in 58 games with (Advanced-A) Myrtle Beach before his promotion to Frisco. The 20-year-old did not play Sunday but is a "lock" to be in Monday's lineup. Gonzalez, the Rangers' top draft pick last June and rated Texas' # 5 prospect, has also been added to the roster and will be Frisco's Tuesday morning starter. In addition, the RockHounds will face Luke Jackson, another top 10 Rangers prospect and the Texas League's fourth-leading pitcher (7-2. 2.55), in Monday's critical third game of the series in the Metroplex.
vs. Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers' AA Affiliate)
Monday, June 9 - 7:05 p.m. (Radio at 7:00 p.m.)
Security Bank Ballpark
RockHounds: Shawn Haviland (RH, 3-4, 3.29)
Frisco : Luke Jackson (RH, 7-2, 2.55)