SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (JULY 15, 2014) - The Frisco RoughRiders scored two runs in the ninth inning, but the Missions turned a game-ending double play to escape with a 5-4 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Wolff Stadium.
Trailing 5-2 at the start of the ninth, Geovany Soto doubled and Odubel Herrera singled to open the frame off reliever Trever Gott. After J.T. Wise flew out to center, Chris Grayson got Gott for a double to center field. Hunter Renfroe played the ball poorly and the exchange scored two runs to make the score 5-4.
Gott remained in the game and walked Jake Skole to put the go-ahead runner on base with one out. While the development ostensibly seemed to help the RoughRiders' cause, it set up a double-play scenario for the Missions.
Right on cue, southpaw Jeff Ibarra took the slab for San Antonio, and on his second pitch to Guilder Rodriguez, induced a double play to end the ballgame. Ibarra picked up his second save of the season in the process.
The Missions lead the entire way on Tuesday and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning courtesy of three unearned runs.
Jason Hagerty doubled off starter Alex Claudio (1-2) to begin the frame and the error bug bit shortly thereafter. Austin Hedges reached on a throwing error by Rodriguez at shortstop and a sacrifice bunt by Yeison Asencio placed two runners in scoring position with one away.
Claudio picked up his second out of the fourth but conceded a run when Cody Overbeck grounded out to the mound.
Lee Orr stepped up next and sent the first Claudio offering into shallow center to bring Hedges home from third. The Frisco southpaw failed to end the inning against Brian Bixler, who singled to keep the inning alive for the Missions.
With runners at the corners, a successful double steal plated Orr and staked San Antonio to a three run edge. As a result of the Rodriguez error, all three runs were unearned.
Frisco wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, however. Three extra-base hits in the fifth off starter James Needy (7-3) help Frisco trim the deficit to 3-2.
Jake Skole opened Frisco's side of the score line with an RBI groundout that scored Wise, who doubled to begin the inning. Patrick Cantwell doubled as well to score Rodriguez, who tripled previously, from third base.
But Frisco could never fully overtake San Antonio, and the Missions capitalized on shaky relief pitching to reconstruct a three-run lead.
Francisco Mendoza filled in for Claudio in the sixth inning and after plunking Asencio to start his outing, Mendoza walked back-to-back batters to load the bases with no outs.
Mendoza managed to limit the damage to just one run thanks to a double play and a strikeout to retire the side, but it was run the 'Riders would eventually wish they had kept off the board.
In a similar scenario two innings later, former big leaguer Erik Hamren struck Rymer Liriano in the elbow with a pitch. Liriano had to exit the game and was replaced by Renfroe, who in turn became the second hit batsman to score in the game when Bixler tripled to the right field corner.
The eighth inning run for San Antonio proved the essential score in keeping the 'Riders at bay in the ninth.
With the loss, Frisco (53-40; 13-11) falls off a three-game win streak and misses an opportunity to clinch the series against San Antonio.
The 13-inning excursion lasted four hours and 17 minutes and became the longest game of the year for Frisco both in time elapsed and innings played.
At long last, San Antonio (48-47; 12-13) snaps a seven-game skid and wins at home for the 25th time this season.
First pitch in the series finale is set for 7:05 p.m. CDT on Wednesday evening. Coverage begins at 6:40 p.m. on www.RidersBaseball.com with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show.
The 'Riders next return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Thursday, July 17 for a four-game series with the Corpus Christi Hooks 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.