FRISCO, TEXAS (July 25, 2014) - The RoughRiders had to fight back from an early deficit, but thanks to a pair of timely home runs, Frisco took down the San Antonio Missions 7-4 Friday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The 'Riders (19-16, 59-45) evened the series 1-1 with the Missions as Joey Gallo hit a third-inning home run to tie the game and J.T. Wise punched the go-ahead homer in the eighth.
The Missions (18-17, 54-51) outhit Frisco on the night but went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They hadn't trailed in this series until Wise put the RoughRiders in front for good. Missions reliever Michael Dimock (1-5) struggled in his one inning pitched as he left one hanging over the plate for Wise.
In honor of Mike Coolbaugh Day, the RoughRiders began the game with a ceremony commemorating the former Tulsa Drillers first base coach who passed away in 2007 due to a line drive. Each of the Texas League teams honored Mike Coolbaugh the past week. For more information, visit www.diamonddreams.org.
San Antonio used two early doubles to take hold of the lead. In the first, Cory Spangenberg hit a leadoff double into right field and Hunter Renfroe smacked a two-out RBI double to the other side of the field, putting the Missions up 1-0. Spangenberg earned another hit in the second, this time in the form of a two-RBI single.
In the bottom of the second, though, the 'Riders found their way onto the scoreboard thanks to smart baserunning. After Chris Grayson drew a walk to begin the frame, the left fielder advanced to second on a Drew Robinson groundout and then sprinted home when Hanser Alberto knocked a blooper into right field.
By the next inning, Joey Gallo struck again with a two-run bomb to tie the game 3-3. The 20-year-old phenom has racked up four home runs in his past five games, placing him atop all of professional baseball with 35 homers.
Claudio settled in after his rocky start and pitched three consecutives 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth and fifth. The Puerto Rican took down most of his batters by inducing soft fly balls and popups. He would make it through one more inning before his night came to a close. Through six innings, Claudio allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking no one.
Reliever Kyle Lotzkar (3-2) took the mound in the seventh and struggled to keep the Missions off the bases. Brian Bixler used 11 pitches to take a walk and Spangenberg's third hit allowed Bixler to make his way to third. Adam Buschini brought Bixler home with a groundout to shortstop Alberto and broke the tie.
The 'Riders knotted things up again in the seventh after Alberto earned his second RBI single of the night. The infield righty has three multi-hit games in his last four outings.
Wise has been on a tear since arriving in Frisco, and he kept the trend going Friday night. After Guilder Rodriguez doubled to right field and Gallo was intentionally walked, the former independent ball player hit a rocket off the Winstar Diamond Deck to give the 'Riders a commanding 7-4 lead.
Will Lamb entered in the ninth and quickly picked up his third save of the season, putting the RoughRiders one victory away from 60 on the year.
The RoughRiders close out the series with the Missions Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Frisco righty Alec Asher (8-9, 3.86) will face off against fellow right-hander Joe Ross (1-0, 4.50 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.