ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Nashville Sounds were eliminated from playoff contention as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Round Rock Express in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday evening at The Dell Diamond.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Sounds' loss resulted in the cross-state rival Memphis Redbirds winning the PCL American Conference Southern Division.
Round Rock snapped a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to hang a defeat on the Sounds (76-66).
The teams were quiet in the early going before Round Rock broke through for a run in the bottom of the fourth against Eric Marzec, who was called up from Double-A Huntsville to make a spot start for the Sounds.
Jared Hoying blooped a one-out single to center then raced around to score when Brett Nicholas followed with a line-drive RBI double into the right field corner to give the Express a 1-0 lead.
Nashville stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first three frames but finally got a run across in the fifth by taking advantage of a fielding error by Express third baseman Josh Wilson. After Eugenio Velez reached on a single and stole second, Wilson was unable to handle a Jason Rogers one-out grounder, allowing Velez to race home in unearned fashion to knot the score at 1-1.
Marzec, who took a no-decision, turned in a solid outing, limiting Round Rock to one run on three hits over five innings of work.
Jose De La Torre took over on the Nashville hill in the sixth and was immediately touched up by the Round Rock offense. Hoying led off with an infield single before hustling to third on a Nicholas single to right, which put runners on the corners with no outs. After fanning Jason Donald for the first out, Drew Robinson lofted a soft floater to shallow left field that plated both runners to give the Express a 3-1 lead.
Round Rock closer Spencer Patton allowed a leadoff single to Pete Orr in the seventh, which extended the infielder's hitting streak to a season-best seven games, before striking out Velez, Hermida, and Rogers in succession to close out the win.
The teams continue the series with a 6:05 p.m. contest on Sunday evening, the penultimate game of the 2014 season. Right-hander Taylor Jungmann (8-6, 4.10) will toe the slab for the Sounds and face Round Rock southpaw Lisalverto Bonilla (3-2, 4.39).