Goin' Out in Style; RockHounds Win, 2-1
RockHounds 2, Tulsa Drillers 1 Sunday, September 19, 2021 Momentum Bank Ballpark The 2021 season ended with some good old-fashioned baseball in the afternoon sunshine … a terrific game … a tremendous pitching performance … and a win! Matt Milburn went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits
RockHounds 2, Tulsa Drillers 1
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Momentum Bank Ballpark
The 2021 season ended with some good old-fashioned baseball in the afternoon sunshine … a terrific game … a tremendous pitching performance … and a win!
Matt Milburn went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts for the win, as the Rockhounds defeated the Tulsa Drillers, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Momentum Bank Ballpark.
After giving up a solo home run to Double-Central batting champion Miguel Vargas in the top of the first, Milburn was “lights out” the rest of the way, at one point retiring 15 consecutive batters.
The RockHounds tied the game in the third when Max Schuemann (see “Kibbles & Bits,” below) reached base after being hit by a pitch. He then stole his 51st base of the season and scored on Devin Foyle’s team-leading 61st RBI of the year, a single to right field.
Pitching and defense dominated most of the afternoon, with the RockHounds breaking the tie in the seventh. Chase Calabuig led off with a single and Mikey White drove in what would become the game-winning run with a single up the middle (on an 0-2 pitch).
Montana DuRapau continued his outstanding work down the stretch, earning the save with a scoreless ninth. The right-hander (and former Major Leaguer) gave up a two-out double to Devin Mann before closing the door for his ninth save. In his last 19 outings, DuRapau allowed just two earned runs in 29⅓ innings (a 0.61 ERA).
The RockHounds finished the season 59-60, in second place in the Double-A Central South Division. The ‘Hounds “nemesis” was regular-season champion Wichita. The Wind Surge took 10-of-12 from the RockHounds, who were 57-50 against the rest of the league!
Kibbles & Bits
Jared Koenig capped a storybook season by officially winning the Double-A Central earned run average championship, posting a 3.26 ERA in his first season in the affiliated minor leagues. He is just the third pitcher in franchise history to capture the ERA title, joining the Cubs’ Dan Corder (2.33 in 1973) and Vin Mazzaro of the RockHounds (a franchise record 1.90 in 2008).
Manager Bobby Crosby gave Jonah Bride a well-deserved day off (strategically, perhaps?) as Jonah became the 12th hitter in the franchise’s 50-year history to win the on-base percentage title. Jonah finished with a .407 OPB, three percentage points ahead of Springfield’s Nick Plummer.
Mac Schuemann was one of the best stories of the season. Promoted from (High-A) Lansing in mid-July (when Jeremy Eierman went on the Injured List), Max reached base in 38-of-his-last-39 games, hitting .366 with a .435 on-base percentage in that span (which included a 29-game on-base streak). In 57 games with the RockHounds he hit .320 … nearly 100 points higher than at Lansing (.224) … and stole a combined 51 bases for the season (17 of them in 20 attempts with the ‘Hounds).