Schrock, RockHounds stay alive in TL Finals

A's No. 17 prospect scores one run, drives in another in Game 3

Max Schrock ranked third in the Texas League with a .379 on-base percentage during the regular season. (Joshua Tjiong /

By Gerard Gilberto / | September 16, 2017 12:16 AM

For the third time this postseason, Midland faced elimination and did not blink. RockHounds second baseman Max Schrock said he and his teammates take a simple approach to staying calm when their backs are against the wall.

"I think we're just taking it one game at a time right now," the 17th-ranked A's prospect said. "You can't look too far in advance, you just got to do what you can today. You do what you can in every single at-bat."

Gameday box score

Schrock scored one run and drove in the other on Friday as the RockHounds beat Tulsa, 2-0, to avoid a sweep in the best-of-5 Texas League Championship Series with a 2-0 victory against the Drillers at ONEOK Field. He's hitting .324 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs in the postseason.

"The pitching was phenomenal ... and we got a few timely hits and played some good baseball today," the Tacoma, Washington, native said.

Leading off the fourth inning against Drillers starter Brandon McCarthy, Schrock slapped a double to the gap in right-center field on the first offering from the rehabbing big leaguer. Jermaine Curtis followed with a groundout to second, pushing Schrock to third before Viosergy Rosa knocked in Midland's first run with another bouncer to second for his league-leading 14th playoff RBI.

Schrock followed A's No. 4 prospect Jorge Mateo's leadoff triple off McCarthy in the sixth with a groundout to third to open a 2-0 lead. The 22-year-old said the team was excited about the opportunity to face a Major Leaguer in a big situation. Both Midland runs were charged to McCarthy, who allowed five hits, struck out a pair and threw 50 of 71 pitches for strikes over six innings.

Video: Schrock's RBI groundout for Midland

"Just to get the experience and kind of just to see what [his] stuff looks like," said Schrock, a 2015 13th-round pick. "He was as advertised. He had great stuff. You can definitely tell he knows how to pitch and it was just a lot of fun."

Complete playoff coverage

McCathy's opponent in Game 3, 23-year-old right-hander Heath Fillmyer, yielded three hits and three walks, hit a batter and struck out four over five scoreless innings. All but one of the six runners to reach against the 19th-ranked A's prospect came in the second and fourth innings, when the Drillers loaded the bases with one out.

In both jams, Fillmyer squared off with Peter O'Brien and Garrett Kennedy, who have combined to hit .189 in the postseason. Fillmyer got out of the second-inning jam with a pair of strikeouts, while O'Brien popped to short and Kennedy flied to right to end the threat in the fourth.

MiLB include

"Heath is one of those guys that you never get worried however many guys are on base because he's a bulldog and he's not going to let who is on base affect him," Schrock said. "He's going to be, probably, better when there's runners on base. He's going to bear down and he made some unbelievable pitches today in some big-time situations."

The Drillers, who own the league's highest-scoring postseason offense, generated only a pair of singles in four innings against relievers Sam Bragg, Tyler Sturdevant and Kyle Finnegan. Finnegan fanned one in a 1-2-3 ninth for his second playoff save.

Game 4 of the series is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET at ONEOK Field.

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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