RockHounds Rally Past Hooks

By Bob Hards / Midland RockHounds | June 5, 2019 10:41 AM

RockHounds 4, Corpus Christi Hooks 2

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Whataburger Field      Corpus Christi, TX


A three-run rally in the eighth inning pushed the RockHounds past the Corpus Christi Hooks, 4-2, Tuesday night at Whataburger Field.


A very solid pitching performance (see below), including a quality start from James Naile and three near-perfect innings from relievers Zack Erwin and Kyle Finnegan, was rewarded when the 'Hounds "Frankenstein-ed" three runs in the eighth on two hits, two walks, one critical Hooks error, and an equally crucial wild pitch.


After the start of the game was delayed by rain for more than an hour, Corpus Christi took a 2-0 lead in the third on back-to-back RBI singles from Abraham Toro (his 48th RBI of the season) and Seth Beer (his 16th in 17 games since being promoted to the Hooks from Advanced-A Fayetteville).


The 'Hounds got on the board in the sixth on Luis Barrera's single and Mikey White's RBI double down the left field line (Mikey's league-leading 18th two-bagger and his team-high 28th RBI).


Kevin Merrell started the eighth-inning comeback with a one-out single through the left side against the shift. Barrera then hit a ground ball to Toro but his throw to second sailed high, the error putting runners at the corners. White drew a walk with Carlos Sanabria's ball four going to the back stop and allowing Merrell to score the tying run. Tyler Ramirez drew a walk to load the bases and Dairon Blanco sent a sharp grounder up the middle. Second baseman Luis Santana made a terrific play, turning the would-be hit into a force out at second, but Barrera came home with the go-ahead run. Jonah Heim's single to center added an insurance run as the 'Hounds took a 4-2 lead.


Finnegan slammed the door in the ninth … and slammed it hard … striking out the side.


Toro's throw was Corpus Christi's only error of the game, but it proved costly. The RockHounds committed three, but each was wiped away on a double play (two line drives and a 4-6-3). After playing errorless ball through the first game of the last homestand, the RockHounds have committed seven errors in their last three games (four Sunday versus Amarillo and three Tuesday).


The win evened the series at a game apiece with Wednesday's rubber game at Whataburger Field remaining.



The Pennant Race

That smattering of applause you heard when Kyle Finnegan whiffed the side to close the door in the ninth probably came from the visitor's clubhouse in Amarillo. The first-place Frisco RoughRiders had just completed their second straight win at HODGETOWN, defeating the Sod Poodles, 7-3, and (with the RockHounds' win at the beach) extending their lead over both the Poodles and Hooks.


Frisco (31-27) now leads Corpus Christi (29-28) by a game-and-a-half and Amarillo (28-28) by two (the 'Hounds remain four-and-a-half back at 26-31).  


There are 12 games remaining in the first half pennant race with series finales set for tomorrow at Amarillo (12:05 p.m.) and Corpus Christi (6:15 p.m.).   The RockHounds then host the RoughRiders in a four-game series opening Thursday at Rocky Town while the Sod Poodles travel to Corpus for a four-gamer with the Hooks.


Hooks at the Dish

Carlos Canelon entered Tuesday's game 1-for-12 in four games with the Hooks and promptly went 3-for-3 with a run scored.


All six Corpus Christi runs in the series have come in the third inning (four and Monday and two Tuesday) and have been driven in by three hitters: Seth Beer (3 RBI), Granden Goetzman (2) and Abraham Toro (1).


Next Game

Wednesday, June 5    vs. Corpus Christi Hooks

Whataburger Field      Corpus Christi, Texas

First pitch 6:15 p.m.   

- Final of a three-game series and road trip

- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 6:05 p.m.


Probable Starters                

CC: Carson La Rue (RH,      1-2, 5.85)

RH: Brian Howard   (RH,      5-2, 2.48)


The RockHounds host the Frisco RoughRiders in a "four-day weekend" at Rocky Town, June 6-9:

- Thirsty Thursday (June 6)  

- Kids Jersey Night (Friday, June 7)

- Fireworks (Saturday, June 8)

- Family Day (Sunday, June 9 at 2:00 p.m.)


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

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