Martin: Man of the Hour

Grand Slam Caps Comeback

The Hooks celebrate following Jason Martin's walkoff grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Corpus Christi a 10-7 win on Wednesday night at Whataburger Field. (Charlie Blalock)

By Corpus Christi Hooks | August 9, 2017 11:45 PM ET

CORPUS CHRISTI - Jason Martin's two-out grand slam to left off Shea Spitzbarth capped a six-run, six-hit ninth as Corpus Christi rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat Tulsa 10-7 Wednesday at Whataburger Field before 4,215.

Colin Walsh and Kyle Tucker accounted for the other RBIs with a lined single and sacrifice fly, respectively. Ryne Birk, Dexture McCall, Antonio Nunez, and Jamie Ritchie contributed singles and scored. Birk's opening hit prompted a call for Spitzbarth (2-4), who took over for Michael Johnson.

Martin was down 0-2 in the count before drilling a curveball 365 feet and making a winner of Ryan Thompson (2-2).

Garrett Kennedy's eighth-inning, one-out, three-run triple off Cy Sneed pushed the visitors ahead 7-4. Sneed sandwiched Erick Mejia's single with walks of Yusniel Diaz and Johan Mieses. Kennedy then cleared the bases by lining a 2-1 fastball into the right-field corner.

Drillers starter Andrew Sopko worked seven complete innings and surrendered three home runs. He permitted four runs on seven hits and struck out five. The Gonzaga product threw 100 pitches, 70 for strikes.

Tulsa (29-17; 62-54) nicked Framber Valdez for a second-inning run. The Drillers' two-out rally began when Mejia walked. He stole second base and came around on Mieses' base hit into right field.

Rico Noel's initial homer as a Hook, a 359-foot, full-count shot to left, squared the game at 1.

Valdez extricated himself from major fourth-inning trouble. His walk of Jacob Scavuzzo and Diaz's single, plus a fielding error on third baseman Arturo Michelena, loaded the bases with two away. Kennedy popped out to end the threat.

Corpus Christi (21-24; 55-60) had runners at the corners and two out in its half of the frame but came up empty.

Valdez allowed singles by Drew Jackson and Errol Robinson to begin a three-run Tulsa fifth, and was lifted for Sneed after Kyle Garlick produced a sacrifice fly to center. Robinson scored on a Peter O'Brien double before the latter traded places with Diaz, whose two-base hit cleared the head of left fielder Martin at the warning track.

Valdez, who walked two and fanned six, booked a pitch count of 82 (51 strikes).

McCall's fifth Double-A home run traveled 398 feet to left during a seven-pitch Hooks fifth in which Sopko faced five hitters. Two innings later, Michelena's first home run of 2017 drew Corpus Christi even at 4, McCall on first following a one-out single.

Martin, McCall, and Diaz had three hits each.

The Hooks and Drillers complete their three-game series Thursday at 7:05. Corpus Christi pitches Franklin Perez (1-1) vs. Mitchell White (0-0).

It's Thirsty Thursday featuring discounted beer and soda from Stripes. Also, your Coastal Bend Chevy Dealers present Hooks Hunting Caps to the first 2,000 fans.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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