As frustrating as their season has been to this point, the Frisco RoughRiders (now 10-29) have discovered a "winning formula" in consecutive victories at Security Bank Ballpark - - a big inning and a dominant closer.
After erasing a 1-0 deficit with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third, the Riders scored five runs in the fourth to build a 7-1 lead and, again, held off a RockHounds rally for the victory (the Riders led, 5-0, early on Tuesday and Reed Garrett denied the 'Hounds in a 5-4 Frisco win).
Correlle Prime sent Kyle Friedrichs' first pitch of the fourth inning out over the right-center field wall and Frisco would send eight batters to the plate before the inning was over. In addition to Prime's solo shot, Hunter Cole's two-run triple, which made the score 6-1, was a key hit.
Frisco starter Pedro Payano (W, 2-3, 5.34) returned to the form he showed after his call-up midway through last season, recording a quality start of six innings, allowing one run (earned) on five hits and one hit batsman while striking out four.
The 'Hounds rallied back in the eighth against reliever James Jones. The first five batters of the inning reached base with Tyler Ramirez and Sean Murphy delivering RBI singles. Jeffrey Springs then came to the rescue, retiring six batters over two innings (with one inherited runner scoring on a ground out) to close the game. Springs struck out three batters, bringing his season total to 38 K's in 22-and-a-third innings.
The Riders now lead the series, 2-1, with the final game Thursday night (7:00). The 'Hounds then host division-leading San Antonio in a four-game set (Friday through Monday) at Rocky Town.
Eli White went 2-for-4, including a double and a terrific "hustle single" that led to the game's first run, and has now reached base in 21 consecutive games (24-77, .312 with a .430 OBP). It is the second-longest on-base streak in the Texas League, trailing only San Antonio's Josh Naylor (25 games).
J.P. Sportman (2-for-4, double, two RBI, two stolen bases) has busted out of a 5-for-40 slump and has now hit in five straight games (7-for-19, .368) with four doubles and three RBI. His RBI double in the second inning came on a 10-pitch at-bat and his seventh-inning single came on a 1-2 pitch against Texas Rangers right-hander Chris Martin (with Frisco on a re-hab assignment).
Richie Martin has reached base in 12 straight games (with hits in 11 of the 12), going 16-for-46 (.348), with three doubles, a triple, a home run and four RBI. Richie has also hit in six straight games (11-26, .423).
Tyler Ramirez has hits in five straight games (7-19, .368) and has reached base in 18-of-19 games (23-67, .343) with five double, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBI.
Brett Vertigan has reached base in 24-of-25 games (23-91. .253) with 20 walks, 13 strikeouts and one hit by pitch (.393 OBP).
Completely Useless But Kinda Cool Stat(s)
Two RockHounds were at positions they had not played in their pro careers until this season - - J.P. Sportman played third base for the third time (389 career games) and Richie Martin was at second base for the second time (273 games).
Thursday, May 17 vs. Frisco RoughRiders
Security Bank Ballpark 6:30 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00)
- "Thirsty Thursday" (half-price beverages)
- Final of a four-game series and fourth of an eight-game homestand (see below)
- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 6:47 p.m.
FRI: Brett Martin (LH, 0-4, 8.78)
RH: Joel Seddon (RH, 2-2, 4.66)
Four-Game Series vs. San Antonio at Security Bank Ballpark
May 18-21, includes:
Replica Bobble Trophies (Friday, May 18)
Fireworks (Saturday, May 19)
Family Day (Sunday, 2:00 p.m.)
Safety Awareness / Kids Day (Monday, May 21 at 11:00 a.m.)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.