FRISCO, TEXAS (July 17, 2014) - The Hooks used speed and small ball to earn a 3-2 win over Frisco on Thursday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Chris Grayson hit his second homer of the season with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but the Frisco rally fell short.
Frisco starter Jerad Eickhoff (7-7) issued a two-out walk to Delino DeShields Jr. in the first but the righty induced a high pop up off the bat of Jonathan Meyer to get his team off the field.
Guilder Rodriguez laced a single up the middle to get the home-half of the inning started and then used his wheels to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt by Hooks' starter Luis Cruz (7-5). Catcher Rene Garcia attempted to throw out Rodriguez but the throw ended up in shallow center and Rodriguez trotted to third.
The RoughRiders (13-13, 53-42) drew first blood when Patrick Cantwell popped a sacrifice fly to center field, which scored Rodriguez to give the 'Riders a 1-0 advantage.
A consistent drizzle established itself in the bottom of the second and continued into the fourth, while the Hooks tried to establish their footing in the rainy game. DeShields Jr. hit a two-out single to right and stole second to advance into scoring position.
The speedy centerfielder swiped his 38th bag to reach third while Meyer walked. Corpus Christi tied the game at 1-1 when Andrew Aplin hit a high pop up into foul territory down the left field line. Hanser Alberto made the catch to secure the out, but he dropped the ball on the transfer from glove to hand and DeShields Jr. scored on the sacrifice to tie the contest.
The Hooks (15-12, 49-48) carried that momentum into the fifth by scoring two more runs to achieve a 3-1 lead. However, the 'Riders were more than happy to get out of the half-inning with a two-run deficit as Corpus Christi sent eight hitters to the plate.
It all began when their first three batters reached base safely. Garcia ripped a single up the middle, a pitch hit Carlos Perdomo and M.P. Cokinos hit an RBI double down the third base line to score Garcia. In the following at-bat a wild pitch to Tony Kemp allowed Perdomo to score and the Hooks took a 3-1 advantage.
Two consecutive walks to Ruben Sosa and DeShields Jr. loaded the bases but Eickhoff struck out his next two batters to escape the threat.
Erik Hamren relieved Eickhoff in the sixth and his five-inning outing was complete. The righty allowed three runs on three hits, walked four, struck out seven, hit one batter, had one wild pitch and threw 53 of his 86 pitches for strikes.
Cruz also pitched five innings before being relieved by Brady Rodgers. The southpaw allowed two hits and one unearned run. He struck out three, had one wild pitch, hit three batters, and tossed 45 of his 71 pitches for strikes.
The ballgame remained scoreless through the next three innings as both teams could only manage to scatter four hits across those frames and the Hooks entered the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead.
Keone Kela pitched a perfect ninth and the 'Riders looked to rally to earn a win in front of the home crowd.
The 'Riders generated some noise out of the 3,239 in attendance when Chris Grayson sent a two-out homer to right-center to shrink the deficit to 3-2, but Tyson Perez put the final touches on the Hooks' win by getting Alberto to ground out to short.
The RoughRiders took the take game two Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Alex Gonzalez (3-3, 2.97 ERA) mans the bump for Frisco and Colton Cain (0-0, 4.58 ERA) will pitch for Corpus Christi. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.