FRISCO - Luis Cruz tossed five solid innings and M.P. Cokinos delivered a clutch RBI double in a two-run fifth as Corpus Christi claimed the series opener with a 3-2 victory over the RoughRiders on a soupy Thursday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The Hooks (15-12, 49-48) have won 11 of their last 15 games.
Frisco (13-13, 53-42) starter Jerad Eickhoff limited the Hooks to one baserunner thru the first three innings. With one away in the fourth, Delino DeShields, Jr., sent a single up the middle for Corpus Christi's first hit of the night. Under a steady light rain, DeShields swiped second and then third base. Jonathan Meyer worked a walk, putting runners at the corners for Andrew Aplin.
On the first pitch from Eickhoff (7-7), Aplin hit a high fly ball toward foul ground on the left side of the diamond. Joey Gallo and shortstop Hanser Alberto converged at the base of the retaining wall with Alberto going down to his right knee to make the catch. DeShields tagged and scored from third on the play, tying the game at 1.
Corpus Christi took the lead in the fifth. Rene Garcia cracked a base hit up the middle to open the frame. Eickhoff then hit Carlos Perdomo with a pitch, bringing Cokinos to the plate. Cokinos squared around to bunt before stroking a slash double through the Riders' wheel play and down the left-field line. Garcia scored from second and Perdomo wound up at third. Perdomo later raced home on an Eickhoff wild pitch, staking the Hooks to a 3-1 bulge.
Cruz (7-5) yielded an unearned run on two hits. The lefty did not walk a batter and fanned three, throwing 45 of 71 pitches for strikes.
Brady Rodgers entered in the sixth and got the first two outs quickly before running into trouble. Rodgers managed to escape unscathed, stranding the bases loaded.
Rodgers retired 10 in a row and was one strike away from ending the game. Chris Grayson interrupted by belting a 2-2 pitch onto the berm in right-center for his second home run as a RoughRider.
Tyson Perez was summoned from the pen and induced a ground ball to short, nailing down his sixth save. Perez has now dispatched the last 16 batters he's faced.
Southpaw Colton Cain (0-0, 4.58) heads to the hill on Friday. Alex Gonzalez (3-3, 2.97) is slated to pitch for Frisco. First pitch 7:05.