In fact, if a scriptwriter submitted Monday night's finish, "Hollywood" probably would have rejected it. Power-hitting prospect Joey Gallo, called up from Advanced-A Sunday and making his Double-A debut Monday, came to the plate with two on, two out, and the game tied at 4-4 in the last of the ninth. On a 2-0 pitch, Gallo sent an opposite field drive over the wall in left center. The three-run walk-off gave Frisco its first win of the series, and helped the RoughRiders take a giant step toward a first half pennant in the Texas League South Division (see below)
Frisco's first four batters of the game scored against RockHounds starter Shawn Haviland, who did not make it out of the first inning in his previous start at Dr Pepper Ballpark (May 6). This time, "Havi" rebounded, pitching into the fifth without allowing any more damage. The 'Hounds, facing Texas Rangers prospect Luke Jackson, got on the board with Anthony Aliotti'solo home run in the fifth, his second in as many games. Jackson, who retired 12-in-a-row from the first through the fourth, struck out nine, but allowed four runs.
Billy Burns walked, stole his 28th base of the year (in 30 attempts) and went to third on a wild pitch to open the sixth. Conner Crumbliss lifted a sacrifice fly to center, cutting the deficit to 4-2. Max Muncy doubled off the wall in left on Jackson's next pitch, and Josh Whitaker drove him home with a triple to right-center. Keone Kela relieved Jackson, giving up a 3-2 RBI single to Aliottti, tying the game at 4-4.
After the RockHounds missed a great scoring chance after a Crumbliss double (which began with an 0-2 count and three, two-strike foul balls) leading off the eighth. Crumbliss sent a liner into shallow right-center and turned what appeared to be a single into a hustle double. Whitaker walked one out later and stole second, but Wilmer Font struck out Aliotti and Kent Matthes to end the threat. The 'Hounds also got a leadoff single from Beau Taylor in the ninth, but failed to cash in (see "Kibbles & Bits," below).
WP: Ryan Bores (2-3, 2.75)
LP: Seth Frankoff (2-2, 2.50)
HR: Frisco - Trever Adams (6) A 2-run HR in the first (off Shawn Haviland)
RockHounds - Anthony Aliotti (5) Solo in the fifth (off Luke Jackson)
Frisco - Joey Gallo (1) A 3-run HR in the first (off Seth Frankoff)
Kibbles & Bits
- Frisco's "magic number" is now four … meaning any combination of RoughRider wins and/or RockHound losses totaling four wins the first half title. Tuesday's series finale now becomes a virtual must-win for the RockHounds to stay in the race with just seven games remaining in the Texas League's first half (the 'Hounds travel to San Antonio for a four-game series opening Wednesday).
- As big a factor as Gallo's power was in the outcome, so, too, were three bunt attempts. After Beau Taylor led off the ninth (in a 4-4 tie) with a single, the RockHounds (Jefry Marte in this case) failed to execute a sacrifice bunt, with Marte eventually grounding into a 4-6-3 double play (followed by a Dusty Coleman single). In the last of the ninth, Guilder Rodriguez opened the inning with a drag bunt single and Trever Adams followed with a sacrifice-turned-single on a bunt up the first base line. Two outs later, Gallo ended the game.
- Josh Whitaker (1-3, run, triple, RBI, walk, stolen base) extended his hit streak to 11 games. The 'Hounds outfielder is 18-43 (.419, HR, 11 RBI) in the 11-gamer and has hit in 14-of-his-last-15 (23-59, .390, HR, 14 RBI). His RBI gave Josh a league-leading 42 ribbies. He ranks second in both batting average (.326) and slugging percentage (.538).
- Shawn Haviland is now 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA in three starts against Frisco. Against the rest of the Texas League, "Havi" is 3-2, 1.70.
- Including third baseman Joey Gallo, the Texas Rangers have added a second top five prospect to Frisco's roster - - - Alex Gonzalez. Gallo, rated Texas' # 4 prospect, led all of Minor League baseball with 40 home runs last season (despite missing nearly a month due to injury) and hit 20 HR with 50 RBI in 58 games with (Advanced-A) Myrtle Beach before his promotion. Gonzalez, the Rangers' top draft pick last June and rated Texas' # 5 prospect, will be Frisco's Tuesday night starter.
vs. Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers' AA Affiliate)
Tuesday, June 10 - 7:05 p.m. (Radio at 7:00 p.m.)
Security Bank Ballpark
RockHounds: Nate Long (RH, 6-1, 3.00)
Frisco: Alex Gonzalez (RH, First AA start)