RockHounds Suffer First Defeat of the Season

RockHounds Head Home after a 5-1 road trip

Murphy Smith allowed just four hits and a run in six innings on Tuesday

By Bob Hards / Midland RockHounds | April 10, 2013 5:31 AM ET

"Oh Well … There Goes Our Perfect Season"

The line you see here (above) has become a tradition when the RockHounds suffere their first loss of the season and is "borrowed" from a headline in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper in April, 1966.   It appeared on the sports page the morning after the Seattle Angels (Pacific Coast League) lost their season opener.  Great sense of humor, of course, and the Angels went on to win the PCL championship.

Tuesday night at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, the Arkansas Travelers handed the RockHounds their first defeat of the 2013 Texas League campaign, blanking the 'Hounds, 3-0.

The Travs gave the RockHounds a "taste of their own baseball medicine," combining strong pitching and defense with timely hitting.

Travis Witherspoon laced a leadoff triple in the fourth and Matt Long sent the next pitch from RockHounds starter Murphy Smith up the middle for an RBI single.   Although taking the loss, Smith (1-1, 0.82) went 6.0 innings, allowing just one run on four hits in his second start of the season.   Arkansas added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.

The RockHounds had chances throughout the game, but failed (for the first time) to deliver.  The opportunities included the leadoff man on in the second and third … a runner at second with one out in the fourth … runners at second and third with one out in the fifth … and two on with no outs in the sixth.  Arkansas denied each of the threats and reliever Michael Cisco then pitched two perfect innings in the seventh and eighth as the Travs extended the lead.

Kibbles & Bits

-    In the six-game road trip, the RockHounds outscored their opponents 34-8 with a team ERA of 1.19.

-    Perspective: The 'Hounds did not trail for the first 48 innings of the season.  Witherspoon's run in the fourth Tuesday night gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead and marked the first time the 'Hounds had trailed.

-    Three of the first six games ended in shutouts.  The 'Hounds blanked Northwest Arkansas (11-0) and the Travelers (4-0) before falling Tuesday night at North Little Rock.

-    Tough Division: The RockHounds are 5-1 and share the Texas League South lead with Corpus Christi.  San Antonio (4-2) is just one game back and Frisco is two games off the pace at 3-3.  Arkansas, meanwhile, leads the North with a 3-3 record.

-    The 'Hounds now head for home and Citibank Ballpark, where they take on the same two clubs they have faced on the road swing … Northwest Arkansas and Arkansas … in a six-game home stand.  The 2013 home opener is set for Thursday (April 11).

Line Score                     R    H    E    LOB   
RockHounds                  0     4     0        6   
Arkansas Travelers        3     8     1        6   

WP    Michael Roth    (1-0,  0.00)
LP    Murphy Smith    (1-1,  0.82)
Sv    Kevin Johnson       (1,  0.00)

HR    None
Next Game … Home Opener, 2013
vs. NW Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals' A Affiliate)
Thursday, April 10    7:00 p.m.    Radio at 6:50 p.m.
At Citibank Ballpark   

Thursday's Probable Starters
RockHounds    (RH)    Zach Neal    (0-0,   0.00)
NW Arkansas    (RH)  Jason Adam     (0-1, 13.50)

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

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