MIDLAND, TEXAS (JULY 23, 2014) - Playing the role of savior, Joey Gallo donned his hero suit in the ninth inning and blasted a two-run home run with two outs to untie the ballgame and lead the Frisco RoughRiders to a 5-3 victory over the Midland RockHounds on Wednesday night at Security Bank Ballpark.
Gallo lifted his homerun off right-handed pitcher Ryan Dull (4-4), who took the loss. Dull coughed up a single up the middle to Odubel Herrera with one out in the ninth. Trever Adams popped out for the second out of the inning, but much to the chagrin of the RockHounds, it brought the left-handed slugger to the plate.
The 20-year-old continues to give the Hounds nightmares as he ripped his fourth homer in nine career games against Midland. Gallo torched the RockHounds with a walk-off shot in his Double-A debut on June 9 and his dinger on Wednesday was his second of the series.
The native of Henderson, Nevada has now clubbed 12 long balls in 37 games with the RoughRiders (tied for fifth in the Texas League) and equaled friend Kris Bryant of Triple-A Iowa for the most home runs in all of professional baseball.
With the win, Frisco (58-44; 18-15) clinches the four-game series and heads back to the Metroplex winners of five of its last six. The 'Riders also usurp the RockHounds for the best overall record in the Texas League.
Midland (58-45; 20-13) falls to 9-10 against the RoughRiders this season but still paces the South Division by two games in the second-half standings.
Jeremy Barfield singled off lefty Will Lamb (3-1) in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but Bruce Maxwell grounded into an around-the-horn twin killing to make Lamb and the 'Riders winners.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision on Wednesday and both struggled to locate the strike zone.
The RockHounds' infield betrayed Shawn Haviland in the first inning when Patrick Cantwell reached on error by second baseman Conner Crumbliss.
Cantwell later scored an unearned run when Haviland walked J.T. Wise with the bases packed. It was the second walk of the inning for the Midland starter, who faced seven batters in the first when he likely could have faced the minimum to begin the game.
His counterpart for the RoughRiders, Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez ran into similar issues in second inning. Gonzalez, renowned in baseball circles for his control, allowed four walks in the frame. After a fielder's choice groundball from Bruce Maxwell tied the score, Gonzalez walked in a go-ahead run to give Midland a 2-1 lead.
Haviland, however, allowed the 'Riders to square the run column again when Herrera drove home Jake Skole. Frisco's centerfielder had reached on Haviland's fourth walk of the night.
The score stayed pat until the seventh when the sides exchanged runs to make it a 3-3 contest. Trever Adams knocked in his 46th run of the season as Cantwell scored for the second time.
Cantwell was retired one time on the night but did not record a base hit. The catcher finished 0-for-2 with two runs, a walk and two hit-by-pitches. He leads the Texas League with 13 hit-by-pitches this season.
In the bottom of the seventh, Francisco Mendoza jumped into hot water. He allowed a walk and a single to open the frame and although he retired the next two batters, Dusty Coleman marred Mendoza's outing with an RBI single to left.
Frisco now returns to Dr Pepper Ballpark to begin a seven-game homestand. The San Antonio Missions arrive in town first for a four-game set with game one on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. CDT. Coverage begins at 6:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.