It's a shame the Texas League doesn't run through the end of September (as the Major Leagues do). If it did, the RockHounds just might do some serious damage.
The 'Hounds defeated San Antonio, 4-1, Friday night Security Bank Ballpark, completing a four-game sweep of the Missions. The club is now 14-4 over its last 18 games and has won five consecutive series (see "I'm Not Tim Kurkjian," below).
"Pitching by committee," the RockHounds received strong performances from four hurlers, scattering six hits in the win. Luis Barrera and Brett Vertigan had two RBI each to lead the offense as the 'Hounds overcame an early 1-0 deficit to earn the victory and the sweep.
Heath Bowers went a solid four innings to open the game, surrendering just one run on Buddy Reed's solo home run in the top of the first. Joel Seddon went three scoreless (and hitless) innings for the win, with John Gorman escaping an eighth-inning jam for the hold. With two on and one out, Eli White, Richie Martin and Seth Brown combined on an outstanding (4-6-3) double play off the bat of clean-up hitter Kyle Overstreet. Kyle Finnegan earned his second save in as many nights retiring the side in order in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts (just as did Thursday). The save was Kyle 13th in as many chances (see "Historic, Part Two," below).
Luis Barrera came back from a short stint on the disabled list (finger) on Thursday and has hits in both games since his return. Luis, who was called up from (Advanced-A) Stockton on July 16, has reached base in 29-of-34 games with the RockHounds and is hitting .349 over his last 29 games, with 21 runs scored and 14 RBI (plus 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts).
Tyler Ramirez has hit in 25-of-29 games (.339) with 19 RBI and has reached base in 31-of-35 games (.326) with 26 RBI. He ranks third in the Texas League with 78 RBI.
Richie Martin has hit in 10-of-12 games (.381) with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, 10 runs scored and 10 RBI. He is slugging .786 over the 12 games, with six walks for a .458 OBP (corrected).
J.P. Sportman has hit in 12-of-13 games (.286) with two doubles, three home runs and nine RBI.
Brett Vertigan has hit in 8-of-10 games (.353) with four runs and five RBI.
Nate Mondou has hit in six straight games, going 7-for-19 (.368).
I'm Not Tim Kurkjian Or Anything, Just Sayin' ...
The series sweep was the first four-game sweep for the RockHounds this season and the first since the opening three-game series of the season (vs. Springfield at Security Bank Ballpark). More impressive is the streak of five consecutive series wins, in which the 'Hounds have defeated five different clubs - - NW Arkansas and Arkansas (both 2-1 at Rocky Town) ... Corpus Christi (3-1) and Frisco (2-1), both on the road ... the capped by the sweep of the Missions at Security Bank Ballpark.
Friday night's game marked the end of the most prolific rivalry in Texas League history with the Missions and (Cubs, Angels) and RockHounds meeting for the 1,444th time in the regular season (surpassing Dallas vs. Fort Worth at the start of the 2018 season). The San Antonio franchise will move to the (Triple-A) Pacific Coast League in 2019 with Amarillo joining the league for the first time since 1982. San Antonio's departure is the most significant in the Texas League's 130-year history, as the Alamo City has been part of the circuit virtually every year since play began in EIGHTEEN-eighty-eight (1888).
Historic, Part Two
Kyle Finnegan's save was his 28th (in parts of three two seasons) with the RockHounds, the third-highest total in franchise history. Jared Lansford closed 38 games over parts of four seasons (2008-11) and Bert Snow is both the franchise and Texas League all-times saves leader. "Snowy" slammed the door 61 times over parts of five seasons with the 'Hounds (1999-2000 and 202-04).
Joel Seddon has now won 21 regular season games as a member of the RockHounds (2016-18), ranking 10th in franchise history.
More importantly, Joel and Kyle have been instrumental in the last two seasons of the RockHounds Texas League Four-Peat. Joel was the winning pitcher in four of the 12 victories needed for the 'Hounds to win the last two titles, while Kyle had a win and all four of the club's playoff saves in 2017, including the amazing (1-0) championship-clinching Game 5 at Tulsa.
Saturday, September 1 vs. Frisco RoughRiders
Final Postgame Fireworks Show of the Season
Security Bank Ballpark 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00)
- First of a three-game series and fourth of a seven-game homestand
- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 6:47 p.m.
FRI: Brett Martin (RH, 2-1, 1.59)
Wrapping Up the Season! Labor Day Weekend
Sunday September 2 Family Day
(Five tickets for $ 25 … see Sunday's MRT)
Monday September 3 Two-Dollar Monday (Labor Day)
($2 admission with a cup from any area 7-Eleven)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.