NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS (JULY 4, 2014) - A dramatic seventh inning saw the Frisco RoughRiders complete a four-run comeback and catapult into the lead as Frisco celebrated Independence Day with a 9-5 win over the Arkansas Travelers at Dickey-Stephens Park.
After a two-run sixth inning, the 'Riders trailed 5-3 at the top of the seventh when Guilder Rodriguez drew a pivotal leadoff walk against reliever Danny Reynolds to kick start a monster frame.
Patrick Cantwell then doubled down the left field line to place two men in scoring position. The 'Riders backstop turned in a 3-for-4 night with a double, a run scored, a sacrifice bunt and a hit-by-pitch.
Cantwell's teammate Odubel Herrera had a big night at the plate as well, and the lefty's two-RBI single to center tied the game at 5-5. Herrera batted 2-for-4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk and a stolen base.
After Trever Adams flew out to center, the Travelers intentionally walked Joey Gallo (his first IBB in the Texas League) to put runners at first and second with one down.
That spelled the end of Reynolds' night, who gave way on the mound to R.J. Alvarez. Pitching for the second straight night, Alvarez never discovered his command and walked consecutive batters, the latter of which brought home the go-ahead run and credited an RBI to Teodoro Martinez.
Martinez finished the game with two RBI despite a 0-for-3 night. He drove in another run when he reached on an error in the sixth inning.
Frisco now held a 6-5 lead, but did not stop the run there. Two batters after Martinez, Drew Robinson clocked a two-run single to right and gave the 'Riders a startling three-run edge.
The sudden turn of events may have come as a jolt to fans given the predicament the 'Riders found themselves in after a tough third inning.
Frisco scored first for the ninth consecutive game on Friday, but the 1-0 lead proved short-lived.
In the bottom of the third with two outs, the Travelers possessed men on second and third when Alex Yarbrough ignited a streak of four straight run-scoring hits on a single to right field. Eric Stamets scored the first of five runs in the frame for the Travelers, who batted around the order in the third to storm ahead.
Stamets had initially reached base on an error by Robinson at third, and as such, all five runs in the inning counted as unearned for Arkansas.
Trailing 5-1, the 'Riders began to chip away at the deficit in the sixth inning. After back-to-back base knocks opened the frame off starter Drew Rucinski, an error on first baseman Mike Bianucci brought home Joey Gallo.
Robinson continued the small-ball streak with a sacrifice fly to center and the score became 5-3 Arkansas.
After Frisco paid back the Travelers with a five-run inning of its own, a sacrifice fly from Tomás Telis nudged the 'Riders in front 9-5.
The Travelers managed one base hit and three baserunners after a handful of hits and six runners in the third.
Jimmy Reyes racked up five strikeouts in two innings pitched and handed the reins to Keone Kela for the ninth. Kela allowed a leadoff walk, but retired the next three batters and two on strikes to finish off Arkansas.
With the win, Frisco (48-35; 8-6) remains undefeated in the state of Arkansas this season (9-0) and wins four games in a row for the first time since May 29. The 'Riders tally their ninth shutout of 2014, tied for first in the Texas League with San Antonio.
Arkansas (42-43; 8-7) falls to 17-26 at home on the year and is on a three-game skid. The RoughRiders finish the 12-game season series with an 8-4 record against the Travs. The teams will not meet again unless both reach the Texas League Championship Series in September.
Frisco's six-game road trip in the Natural State continues against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. in Springdale, Arkansas. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. CDT with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show on www.ridersbaseball.com.
The 'Riders next return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Wednesday, July 9 to begin a four-game series with the Corpus Christi Hooks. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.