Pitching and defense for 'Riders evens the series

Ramirez earns second win, Alberto shines at the plate in 6-1 win

By Frisco RoughRiders | April 23, 2013 7:53 PM ET

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (APRIL 23, 2013) - The RoughRiders responded from their 5-1 defeat on Monday with an impressive display of solid pitching and excellent defense to topple the Missions 6-1 Tuesday evening at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium.

Missions starting pitcher Burch Smith entered the contest with 1.13 ERA, good for second in the Texas League, but the 'Riders roughed him up for four runs, two earned, on their way to an impressive bounce back win. Frisco bats picked up five hits off Burch, the most he has allowed this season in a start, and he struck out only four RoughRiders, a season low for him in four outings.  

Frisco opened the scoring in the fourth. Hanser Alberto knocked his second triple of the year into the right field corner to lead off the inning. Brett Nicholas brought him home with another extra-base hit, a double, to make it 1-0 Frisco.

The one-run lead looked tenuous in the bottom half, the first frame that 'Riders starting pitcher Neil Ramirez ran into trouble. Ramirez got through the first three innings facing the minimum but walked the lead off man in the fourth and hit Rico Noel on the eighth pitch of the plate appearance to put the second aboard with no one out. Outfielder Everett Williams was next, and he singled to right field. Chih-Hsien Chiang fielded the single and threw a bullet to the catcher Tomas Telis to gun down Raymond Fuentes, who was trying to score from second base on the play. Chiang's assist helped keep the Missions off the scoreboard, as Ramirez posted back-to-back swinging strikeouts to end the fourth-inning threat.

Frisco (11-7) piled on three runs in the fifth. Smith got the first two batters to ground out, but the next three RoughRiders singled, the third of which came from Alberto to score another run, extending the lead to 2-0. Alberto went 2-for-4 on the night with a walk and three runs scored. He also collected his eighth RBI of the year. The next man, Jared Hoying, hit a grounder to second that was booted into the outfield by second baseman Adam Buschini. Two more runners scored on the play to make it 4-0.

Ramirez allowed a run to San Antonio (8-10) in his final inning of work on a two-out single by Buschini. He finished the night with five innings of one-run baseball, and left in line for the win. The right-hander surrendered just three hits and tied his season-high with seven strikeouts to go along with three walks.

After Smith left the game, the Frisco offense kept clicking. Ryan Strausborger's first triple of the season added another Frisco run in the sixth inning, and Alex Buchholz knocked in his tenth run of the season in the seventh. The 6-1 proved more than enough for the RoughRiders pitchers. Again the Frisco bullpen mowed down the opposition to hold on for the win. Ryan Rodebaugh posted two scoreless and hitless innings. Roman Mendez finished things off with two hitless frames as well.

Ramirez (2-0) kept his record perfect in the win, and Smith (1-2) suffered the defeat. Two of the four runs against his ledger were unearned. Frisco moved back into a first place tie in the Texas League with the win, as Midland lost Tuesday to Corpus Christi. Both the RoughRiders and Rockhounds have an 11-7 record.

The RoughRiders have two more in San Antonio before their return home. The series continues Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Kevin Pucetas (2-1, 2.33 ERA) goes for Frisco against San Antonio right-hander Matt Andriese (2-0, 1.20 ERA).  Fans can tune in to the play-by-play broadcast on www.RidersBaseball.com beginning at 6:40.

Frisco will return to Dr Pepper Ballpark Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m. when they host Corpus Christi.  For information on tickets to see the RoughRiders in 2013, please call (972) 731-9200, email info@ridersbaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.  

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

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