FRISCO, TEXAS (July 18, 2014) - The RoughRiders seemed to be on their way to a shutout win before falling apart late and losing to the Hooks 9-5 Friday at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Corpus Christi (15-13, 50-48) only had three hits through eight innings before looking like a completely different team in the ninth. The road team drove in nine runs on five fits in the ninth as Frisco's pitchers suddenly couldn't throw strikes. This is the seventh time all season the RoughRiders (13-14, 53-43) have given up nine runs in a game. The Hooks accomplished this feat in one inning.
Both starters flew through the first three frames, only giving up a combined one hit between the two. Alex Gonzalez had great movement on his pitches while Colton Cain kept the 'Riders out of scoring position. In the third, the Hooks starter picked off two straight runners at first before striking out Drew Robinson to end the inning.
Frisco, though, started to figure out Cain the second time through the batting order. In the fourth, after three consecutive singles by Pat Cantwell, Odubel Herrera and Trever Adams, Joey Gallo singled a rocket into center field and put the 'Riders up 1-0.
Cain couldn't regain his control in the fifth and walked his first two batters faced, forcing his night to come to a close. The lefty allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and walked five while striking out six.
Dominican native Richard Rodriguez came in to relieve Cain and didn't get any help from his fielders. With two men on, Chris Grayson hit a fly ball to center fielder Delino DeShields, who dropped the ball and picked up his fifth error of the year. A blooper by Cantwell and line drive from Herrera brought in two runs and increased the lead to 3-0.
Chi Chi lasted five innings for a second consecutive start and hasn't given up any runs in both performances. Friday night, he only allowed three hits and struck out four while walking two.
Martire Garcia made his Double-A debut in the sixth and looked very comfortable in a 1-2-3 inning. The 5-11 lefty only needed nine pitches to take down his first three Hooks' batters. Over three innings pitched, Garcia gave up no hits, struck out two and walked two.
Hooks right-hander Travis Ballew (5-3) took the mound in the seventh and couldn't seem to find the strike zone. He walked three of his first four batters faced before Gallo walked up to the plate with the bases loaded. The 20-year-old phenom smacked another hard-hit RBI single, this time off the glove of first baseman Telvin Nash. Ballew settled down in the eighth, striking out the first two batters and inducing Grayson into a groundout.
Frisco righty Brodie Downs entered in the ninth with a 4-0 lead. He couldn't seem to find his command and struggled finishing off batters after long at-bats. After Ruben Sosa singled to left field on his eighth pitch faced, Downs walked DeShields, throwing eighth pitches again. Downs threw his last pitch of the night after Jonathan Meyer hit a two-RBI single straight to center field.
Keone Kela (1-1) relieved the independent ball pitcher and prolonged the 'Riders pitching woes. Kela hit his first batter faced and walked Carlos Perdomo, allowing Meyer to trot home. An RBI sacrifice fly to left field from Heineman tied the game and M.P. Cokinos followed that up by driving in the go-ahead run.
Frisco decided to give Francisco Mendoza a chance to stop the storm, but the bleeding persisted. Mendoza got off to a horrible start by hitting Tony Kemp on his first pitch. A Sosa two-RBI double and a DeShields sacrifice fly to right field extended the lead to 8-4. Meyer drove in one more run with a single before the 'Riders finally got out of the inning on an Andrew Aplin groundout.
The 'Riders earned one more run in the ninth thanks to J.T. Wise's fifth RBI with the team. It wouldn't be enough, though, as the Hooks sent Frisco back down below .500 for the second half of the season.
The RoughRiders will play the third game of this four-game homestand Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Frisco lefty Edwar Cabrera (4-6, 3.05) will face righty Chris Devenski (2-0, 1.00 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.