Sportman Walks it Off to Cap Comeback

(Richard Acosta)

By Bob Hards / Midland RockHounds | July 13, 2018 12:06 AM

The RockHounds have struggled in extra-inning games this season (0-5). Thursday night, the found a solution - - avoid them.


Eli White's game-tying three-run home run in the last of the ninth inning was followed, moments later, by J.P. Sportman's walk-off drive into the left field bullpen, giving the RockHounds a tremendous come-from-behind win over the Corpus Christi Hooks in front of 4.232 fans at Security Bank Ballpark.


Corpus, the league's top club (58-31) scored two runs in the first and two more in the fourth, each time using the same "recipe" of a leadoff single, an RBI extra-base hit and a sacrifice fly. Randy Cesar, who leads the TL in hitting (.337) scored one run and drove in two (double, sac fly).


The 'Hounds chipped away with single runs in the fourth and seventh, but the Hooks added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, pushing the lead to 5-2.


Jonah Heim and Edwin Diaz drew walks in the last of the ninth, brining White to the plate with two on and one out. Eli sent Erasmo Pinales' 2-1 pitch out over the high wall in left field for his fourth hit of the game, tying the score at 5-5.


With the crowd still buzzing after the game-tying drive, Sportman ripped a line drive into the left field bullpen for a two-out, walk-off game winner - - and no extra innings.



Eli White's heroics capped a 4-for-5 night (double, HR, three RBI) and extended his on-base streak to 10 games (with hits in nine of the 10). In the 10-gamer, Eli is 22-for-38 (.579) with three doubles, two triples, two HR and seven RBI. He has also walked seven times (with one sac fly), reaching base in 29-of-46 plate appearances (.630 OBP).


J.P. Sportman (2-for-5, double, walk-off HR) has hit in four straight games, going 8-for-17 (.471) with three doubles, one HR and four rbi.


Despite the loss, the Hooks are 20-5 since June 13, including a 10-game win streak that pushed the club to the first half South Division title. Corpus Christi, which saw a six-game win streak snapped, leads the second half race with a 15-5 record. The Hooks are 58-31 overall, by far the TL's best.


I'm Not Tim Kurkjian Or Anything, Just Sayin' ...

After a frustrating road trip, Thursday night's sensational win was great baseball "medicine," made all the better in that it was the first time in 43 tries that the 'Hounds trailed after eight innings and went on to win the game.


Next Game

Friday, July 13      vs. Corpus Christi Hooks

Security Bank Ballpark           7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00)

Rocky RockHound Fatheads … first 1,000 fans

- Second of a four-game series and homestand

- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 6:47 p.m.


Probable Starters

CC: Framber Valdez (LH, 2-3, 4.60)

RH: Parker Dunshee             (RH, 1-1, 3.60)


The Weekend at Security Bank Ballpark  

Friday     July 13          Rocky RockHound Fatheads

Saturday           July 14           Postgame Fireworks



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

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