On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at Security Bank Ballpark, San Antonio the RockHounds made Texas League history and the 'Hounds gained a split of the four-game series with an 8-6 win over the Missions.
With the RockHounds trailing, 1-0, Brett Vertigan doubled with one out in the fourth. J. P. Sportman followed with an RBI triple to the power alley in right-center and scored on Tyler Ramirez' sacrifice fly.
Mikey White extended the lead to 3-1 with a towering home run to left field, the start of a three-run rally in the fifth. Vertigan (who had a three-hit day) singled and stole second, scoring on Sportman's line drive single up the middle. Eli White then capped the inning with an RBI triple to left-center, his team-leading 15th run batted in of the season (Mikey ranks second in the TL).
Sean Murphy continued a remarkable eight-day (seven-game) stretch at the plate (see below), going 3-for-4. His two-run double to right-center in the seventh pushed the 'Hounds lead to 7-2.
The Missions rallied back with four runs in the eighth, two on Josh Naylor's league-leading seventh home run (and league-best 17th RBI), a two-run drive just inside the right field foul pole.
Sean Murphy had hits in three of the four games, finishing the series 9-for-18, with four doubles and seven RBI. "Murph" has now hit exactly .500 in back-to-back series (he went 6-for-12 at Tulsa) with hits in 6-of-7 games - - 15-for-30, with six doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. He ranks among the Texas League's top five in average (.404), runs (16), doubles (9), RBI (13) and slugging (.719).
J.P. Sportman had a three-hit game (single, triple and a terrific "hustle double") scoring two runs and driving in two more. J.P., who moved to the leadoff spot for this series, had hits in all four games, went 7-for-16 in the four-gamer (two doubles, a triple, three RBI and five runs).
After three nights of less-than-wonderful weather, Sunday was a virtually perfect day at the ballpark with a terrific crowd of nearl;y four thousand (3,805). That total does not include the fine turnout of (very spirited) four-legged fans on "Bark in the Park Day").
Texas League History
The game marked the 1,416th all-time meeting between the Missions and the Cubs-Angels-RockHounds, making this the most prolific rivalry in the Texas League's 130-year history. The clubs surpassed the former all-time mark set by the Dallas and Fort Worth TL franchises (1,415).
The irony involved is that San Antonio, which has been a member of the Texas League virtually throughout its 130-year history, is departing the Double-A level after this season - - the club's ownership is moving the Colorado Springs (Triple-A) Pacific Coast League franchise to the Alamo City beginning in 2019 (Amarillo will return to the Texas League for the first time since 1972).
Completely Useless but Kinda Cool Stat(s)
Turnabout really is "fair play." In San Antonio's 11-8 Saturday night win, the Missions ended the game … and a four-run RockHounds rally .. with a bases-loaded 5-3 (third-to-first) double play. In the top of the fifth Sunday afternoon, the 'Hounds denied a Missions rally (and maintained a 5-1 lead) by turning a bases-loaded 5-3 DP (Mikey White to Seth Brown).
Monday, April 23 vs. Corpus Christi Hooks
Whataburger Field Corpus Christi, Texas
First pitch 7:05 p.m.
Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 7:00 p.m.
First of a four-game series at Corpus Christi and of an eight-game road trip
(April 23-26 at Corpus; April 27-30 at San Antonio)
CC: Framber Valdez (RH, 0-1, 6.75)
RH: Corey Walter (RH, 1-1, 6.00)
Next at Security Bank Ballpark
May 1-4 (Tuesday-Friday) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.