FRISCO, TEXAS (June 25, 2014) - The Frisco RoughRiders found their touch at the plate and took down the Arkansas Travelers 6-1 Wednesday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Even though the 'Riders (43-32) lost two of their best bats with Jake Smolinski and Ryan Rua moving up to Triple-A, the offense didn't lose a step and racked up 11 hits on the night.
The Travelers (37-40), on the other hand, struggled against the RoughRiders' pitchers and earned their only run thanks to a wild pitch.
Starter Jerad Eickhoff (5-5) caused the most issues for the Arkansas batters as he showed strong command in garnering his fifth win of the season. Eickhoff allowed one run on four hits over seven innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Other than his wild pitch in the seventh that allowed the Travelers to score, the 23-year-old righty had little trouble hitting his spots.
In the second frame, the 'Riders used a parade of hits to quickly build a comfortable lead. Odubel Herrera started things off by singling to left field on the first pitch of the inning. After Teodoro Martinez worked the count and hit a grounder to Eric Stamets, the Travelers shortstop overthrew first base and Herrera then advanced to third. Orangel Arenas (5-4) couldn't seem to find the strike zone during the inning and it really showed when he faced Edwin Garcia. Catcher Jett Bandy let Arenas' fourth ball of the at-bat pass by, which allowed Herrera to give the 'Riders the first run of the game. Three more base hits and a sacrifice fly by Tomas Telis gave Frisco a 5-0 lead to end the frame.
After a quick third inning from both pitchers, the Travelers got on the board in the top of the fourth. Mike Bianucci smoked one by Joey Gallo to start the inning and then advanced to third after Bandy grounded out. RoughRiders catcher Patrick Cantwell let a wild pitch get by him and Bianucci trotted home to make the score 5-1.
Arenas' night came to an end after the fifth inning. The right-handed pitcher gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and walked one with four strikeouts.
Eickhoff found his groove as the game moved along and finished strong on the mound. After a 1-2-3 sixth inning, the Indiana native induced Bandy into a groundout and then struck out Drew Heid to start the seventh. First baseman Trever Adams made an athletic diving play to his right to pick up the 3-1 out and give Eickhoff his second consecutive 1-2-3 inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Herrera picked up his third hit of the night. The Texas League All-Star has been swinging well of late and is batting 21 for 45 (.467) in the last 12 games.
Gallo finally picked up his first hit in the seventh after lining an RBI single to right field and increasing Frisco's lead to 6-1.
Relievers Jimmy Reyes and Keone Kela cleaned up in the eighth and ninth to give Frisco the first win of the three-game series.
The RoughRiders will look to claim the second matchup Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Frisco righty Alex Gonzalez (1-2, 4.50 ERA) will take the hill against left-hander Kramer Sneed (4-6, 5.10 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.