The RockHounds are the 2009 Texas League champions.
The 'Hounds defeated the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, 4-2 in 12 innings, to claim the third championship ... and the second outright title ... in franchise history. The title is the second in five seasons, with both of the outright titles coming in the RockHounds / Oakland A's era.
Two unlikely heroes helped the 'Hounds win the title, with Raul Padron providing the championship-winning runs on a 2-run home run in the top of the 12th and Jason Fernandez psavinf the day out of the bullpen.
Unlikely? Raul entered the game in the last of the ninth to play first base, after Shane Peterson was lifted for a pinch runner. Raul's home run came in just his fifth at bat in the post-season, a drive over the wall in right, scoring Matt Spencer, who singled with one out in the 12th.
The 'Hounds trailed, 2-0, entering the ninth, when Peterson reached on an error. Corey Brown, after fouling off four, 2-strike pitches, then sent a laser of a line drive to right, his second home run in two games in the title series, tying the game at 2-2.
In the last of the 10th, Jason Fernandez made a remarkable "escape," keeping the 'Hounds in the game. Jason entered the 10th inning with two on and no outs. He made a tremendous play on a would-be sacrifice bunt, then got the two outs, including Corey Smith with the bases loaded, beginning with a 3-0 count! He found the zone with the 3-0, then got the power hitting Smith to bounce out to shortstop.
Tyson Ross was sensational. The RockHounds starter went 6.0 shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk, striking out eleven.
Jared Lansford earned his second, consecutive save, with the game ending with one on and a high fly to left off the bat of the playoffs' hottest hitter, David Lough.
Texas League Manager of the Year Darren Bush and his remarkable club had the league's best record, and did it despite losing two of the league's top players ... Tommy Everidge (two weeks before the end of the first half) and Texas League Player of the Year Chris Carter (13 days left in the regular season).
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