CORPUS CHRISTI - Trent Thornton stabilized Corpus Christi's pitching for four innings Tuesday night, then held on for a little white-knuckle flying in a 10-9 triumph over Northwest Arkansas at Whataburger Field before 3,407.
In the ninth, Mauricio Ramos' two-run no-doubter to left pulled the visitors to within a run, and Ruben Sosa, Jr., followed with his second double of the game. Three outs later, however, Sosa remained at the keystone and the Hooks (8-4) had their fourth straight series win.
Thornton (1-1), the third Corpus Christi pitcher, came on for the fifth and faced two over the minimum through the eighth. In the wake of Sosa's double, he retired Terrance Gore on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt, and Allan de San Miguel and Jack Lopez on fly balls to right fielder Ramon Laureano.
Northwest Arkansas (4-8) took an early 2-0 lead on Alfredo Escalera's RBI single and a sacrifice liner by Frank Schwindel. Donnie Dewees began the frame with a ground-rule double off Kyle Smith into the right-field bullpen.
It didn't last long. Drew Ferguson and Laureano singled at the top of Corpus Christi's lineup, extending their hitting streaks to seven games. Ferguson crossed when J.D. Davis bounced into a 6-4-3 double play and Laureano scored on third baseman Ramos' throwing error.
The Naturals grouped three two-out hits in pushing Smith out of the game during the third; singles from Schwindel and Ramos preceded Sosa's two-run double to left-center.
Davis lengthened his hitting streak to seven in grand fashion, dropping a 1-1 Matt Tenuta fastball 356 feet into the visitors' bullpen with Laureano (walk) and Jon Singleton (single) aboard for a 5-4 Hooks advantage.
That was short-lived, Samir Duenez blasting a three-run bomb off the back of the same bullpen. Jacob Dorris yielded a lead-off single to Dewees and walked Escalera before the damage.
Tenuta was gone after walking Mott Hyde to begin the Corpus Christi fourth. Antonio Nunez's sacrifice bunt moved Hyde over and Ferguson followed by blistering a double off Ashton Goudeau past shortstop Jack Lopez.
The Hooks claimed an 8-7 lead in the fifth. Goudeau (0-2) issued an opening walk to Singleton and Davis then doubled to left-center. After fanning Alejandro Garcia, Goudeau intentionally passed Jack Mayfield to load the bases. Then came Trent Woodward, who fell behind 0-2, battled through an 11-pitch at-bat, and lined an RBI single into right. An out later, Nunez's 0-2 swinging bunt plated Davis.
Corpus Christi created some shallow breathing room two innings later. Garcia's lead-off double and advance to third via a passed ball became the ninth tally when Hyde slapped a two-out single into right off Tim Hill. Ferguson greeted Evan Beal with a hustling double in the eighth, took third on Laureano's deep line out to left, and scored on a wild pitch.
The Hooks travel to Frisco for four games Thursday through Sunday before returning home for eight vs. Midland and Frisco April 24-May 1.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.