CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (JUNE 19, 2014) - A bouncing ball off the bat of Guilder Rodriguez brought two runners home in the tenth inning, and the Frisco RoughRiders went on to knock off the Corpus Christi Hooks 7-5 in an extra inning affair from Whataburger Field.
Batting with the bases loaded and two outs, Rodriguez' grounded a payoff pitch sharply in the direction of Corpus Christi first baseman Telvin Nash. The play seemed routine, but at the last moment, the ball took an unexpected high hop over Nash and into right field.
Odubel Herrera and Ryan Rua scored what proved to be the winning runs. In another stroke of good fortune, Herrera reached base earlier in the inning on an error by Hooks' third baseman Jonathan Meyer.
A two-run lead now in hand, Phil Klein took the bump and retired three straight batters to earn his ninth save, tied with Northwest Arkansas' Andrew Triggs for fourth-most in the Texas League.
With the win, Frisco (1-1; 41-30) snaps a three-game losing streak and avoids what would have been its longest skid of the season. The RoughRiders are the only team in the Texas League without a losing streak in excess of three games. Thursday's triumph gives the 'Riders their first extra-inning victory in four tries this season.
Will Lamb (1-0) earned his first win at the Double-A level. The spindly southpaw upheld a 5-5 tie in the ninth when he struck his only two batters faced to force a tenth inning.
Lamb's mustachioed counterpart, Michael Dimock (1-4), conceded the winning runs and took the loss.
The RoughRiders built a 5-1 lead, but saw their advantage evaporate swiftly in the seventh inning. Starter Luke Jackson began the frame on the mound and allowed his only two walks of the contest before Jason Wood dialed for Randy Henry out of the bullpen.
Jackson finished without a decision and allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He equaled a season-high in hits allowed in an outing.
Pitching in his second Double-A game of the season since his arrival from Triple-A Round Rock, Henry failed to record an out; instead, the righty hit his first two batters, the latter of which brought home a run to make the score 5-2.
Henry appeared flustered and proceeded to walk Ruben Sosa with the bases still loaded and the Hooks crept within two.
When Nolan Fontana singled to center field, Corpus Christi tied the game at 5-5 and Henry exited the ballgame with no outs in the inning.
Jon Edwards provided stability on the mound for the 'Riders and retired three straight batters to preserve the dead heat. His slider sublime, Edwards lasted 2 1/3 innings and did not allow a baserunner. The right-hander struck out four in the process.
Edwards goaded a fly out from Delino DeShields, Jr. in the ninth and handed the keys to Lamb, who guided the game to extras.
The RoughRiders climbed to a 4-0 lead on the strength of a big fourth inning. Rua tallied the first of three base hits on the night with a single to center that scored a pair. Drew Robinson followed suit with a wall-ball two-bagger and doubled his team's run total.
Robinson connected on the first pitch he saw from Corpus Christi starter Kyle Smith and the 'Riders yielded four runs on two pitches. It was the first time an opponent tagged Smith for more than one earned run in an outing since May 9.
The Hooks scored a run in the bottom of the fourth, but the RoughRiders reestablished its four-run lead in the sixth inning on Rua's third RBI of the night.
Frisco's series with Corpus Christi continues on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CDT from Whataburger Field. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show.
The 'Riders next play at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Wednesday, June 25 against the Arkansas Travelers at 7:05 p.m. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.