It's not the kind of analysis that will land a gig with Associated Press or ESPN, but of the three RockHounds pitchers who did not allow a run on Thursday night, two were catchers.
Corpus Christi built a 6-0 lead and after the 'Hounds rallied back to within 6-3 in the last of the fourth, the Hooks answered with three runs of their own in the fifth and added the game's final two runs in the top of the sixth, on their way to an 11-3 win.
The RockHounds loss, coupled with San Antonio's 6-4 win at Frisco, officially clinches the Texas League South Division first half title.
Our congratulations to the Missions on a well-deserved first half pennant.
The Hooks scored twice in the first, with the RockHounds then loading the bases with no outs in the last of the second. A fielder's choice (with the out at home plate) and a 4-6-3 double play saw the 'Hounds come up empty and the Hooks scored twice in the third and again in the fourth to gain the 6-0 advantage.
Brett Vertigan's two-run single and an RBI ground out from Yairo Munoz brought the 'Hounds back to within 6-3 at the end of four innings, but the Hooks answered again with a three-run fifth highlighted by a bases-loaded two-run single from shortstop Antonio Nunez.
Every Hooks batter reached base (eight had at least one base hit in a 17-hit attack), led by three-hit games from Trent Woodward (3-for-4, two runs, two doubles, RBI, walk), Drew Ferguson (3-for-6, two runs, double, RBI) and J.D. Davis (3-for-6, run, double, two RBI).
With a doubleheader on the way on Friday, the RockHounds' bullpen was thin, so with the game logically out of reach, catchers Argenis Raga and Andy Paz were called upon to pitch the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Raga gave up a hit and a walk and Paz surrendered a hit, but both put a goose-egg on the board. Kyle Finnegan - not a catcher - retired the side in order (one strikeout) in the seventh.
The Hooks snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory and also won at Security Bank Ballpark for the first time this season (1-4).
What did the man say? "This game will keep you humble." After back-to-back dominating performances at home (14.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R / 2 ER, 1 BB, 17 K), Grant Holmes surrendered nine runs (seven earned) on 12 hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.
Yairo Munoz extended his hitting streak to eight games (11-for-33, .333). Since May 16, Munoz is hitting .354 (40-for-113) with 19 extra-base hits (11 doubles, three triples, five home runs) and 23 RBI in 27 games.
J.P. Sportman has a hit in five straight games (8-for-17, .471)
The Oakland A's made two personnel moves Thursday affecting the RockHounds:
LHP Ivan Andueza has been reassigned to the A's Arizona facility and INF Jermaine Curtis has been promoted to Triple-A Nashville.
Curtis was terrific in his short stint with the RockHounds, which was his first game action of 2017 after being sidelined by a hamstring injury. He hit .370 in 13 games, reaching base in each of them and finishing on a seven-game hitting streak (12-for-23, .522).
The RockHounds and Corpus Christi Hooks continue their four-game series with a doubleheader on Friday afternoon with game one beginning at 4:30 p.m. and game two following approximately 30 minutes after the final out of the opener. Gates will open at 4:15 p.m. for Kids Jersey Night, one of the most popular annual events at the ballpark. Our thanks to Chevron for a great RockHounds Baseball & Kids tradition!
Akeem Bostick (3-1, 3.72) will go in the opener for the Hooks and Kent Emanuel (LH, 2-3, 4.14) in the nightcap. Left-hander Evan Manarino (1-2, 6.75) is expected to start game one for the RockHounds, with the game two starter yet to be named.
The clubs will conclude the four-game series with the regularly-scheduled game on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Security Bank Ballpark with postgame fireworks.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.