FRISCO, TEXAS (June 26, 2014) - Frisco fell to 3-4 in the second half of the season as Mike Bianucci and the Travelers evened up the series with a 9-4 victory on Thursday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Bianucci had himself a four-hit night for Arkansas and Joey Gallo hit his 7th homer for the 'Riders in the loss.
Ryan Strausborger began his tour of duty with the RoughRiders in 2014 by going 2-for-4 with two RBI on Wednesday night, and he stayed hot on Thursday by crushing his first homer of the season clear over the WinStar Diamond Deck in left to give Frisco an early 1-0 lead. The homer was starter Kramer Sneed's 11th of the season.
That shot pleased Frisco starter Alex 'Chi Chi' Gonzalez who retired his first three batters in the top of the first, but the game quickly took a sharp turn in favor of the Travelers in the second frame.
Arkansas' leftfielder and former 'Rider Bianucci hit a slow roller to third and the ball did not hop like 6'5" Gallo expected it to. The ball quickly died and Gallo was charged with the error. Jett Bandy was the next batter and he reached first on a controversial hit-by-pitch call. Frisco skipper Jason Wood came out to discuss the play and returned to the dugout after exchanging words with home plate umpire Matthew Czajak.
Gonzalez received a gift in the form of a 6-4-3 double play to earn two quick outs in the frame, but the momentum would quickly change. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Kaleb Cowert and Eric Stamets put the Travs in front 2-1.
Stamets double did not come without more controversy as the ball appeared to cross over the third base bag foul, but the play was ruled fair and Wood made his second and last appearance in the game. Czajak did not take kindly to what Wood had to say and the skipper was sent back to the clubhouse.
Kyle Hudson singled to left to score Stamets from second and give Arkansas a 3-1 lead, but Gallo cut off the throw and threw out Hudson as he attempted to advance to second on the throw home.
The Travelers (4-4) had another productive inning in the third as they sent six men to the plate and plated two more runs to extend their lead to 5-1. Bianucci doubled to right scoring Maikol Gonzalez from third following his leadoff single and tenth stolen base, and Bandy ripped a single up the middle to plate Bianucci from second.
Drew Heid singled to put runners and first and second, but 'Chi Chi' battled back and struck out Cowert swinging to put an end to the threat.
Gonzalez (1-3) finished his five innings pitched after giving up eight base hits and allowing two earned runs with five unearned runs and two strikeouts.
Righty Jon Edwards came on in relief and gave up a two-run homer to Bianucci, who continued the thrashing of his former team, and the 'Riders found themselves in a 7-1 hole.
Halfway through the contest, and needing a boost, Frisco looked to Gallo to get something started. Freshly named to the MLB Futures Game during the upcoming All-Star festivities in Minnesota, Gallo doubled to right to jog the team's heartbeat. Odubel Herrera moved him to third on a ground ball to second, and Gallo later scored on a Teodoro Martinez RBI single that deflected off of Sneed and rolled to second base.
With the score now 7-2 Arkansas, Strausborger kept his bat hot and smashed another RBI single to left to score Martinez and shrink the deficit to 7-3.
Sneed's (5-6) outing finished after five frames in which he gave up seven hits with three earned runs and one strikeout.
Gallo added another jolt to the ballgame in the seventh inning with his seventh homer at the Double-A level, a solo lead-off shot, and his 28th overall which gave him the most in all of professional baseball.
Frisco (3-4) got two more men on base in the frame, but they were stranded and the score stayed put at 7-4 Travs.
The contest encountered an exciting moment as Gallo was one pitch away from making it a one-run deficit with one on and two out, but he was not able to spark another rally.
Arkansas had opportunities to shut the door on Frisco during the game and they did so in the ninth frame. Heid dropped an RBI single in front of a diving Strausborger in centerfield and Brian Hernandez scored easily from third to make it 8-4. Cowert added a ninth run to the column with an RBI single to deep right to end reliever Randy Henry's evening.
Cam Bedrosian entered to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth and he did so with a three-up-three-down frame.
Southpaw Edwar Cabrera (3-5, 3.55 ERA) will pitch for the 'Riders on Friday night at 7:05 as they try to take the series and righty Drew Rucinski (6-4, 2.40 ERA) will take the mound for the Travelers. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.