MIDLAND, TEXAS (MAY 12, 2014) - An offensive outburst late in the game propelled the Frisco RoughRiders to a 8-2 win over the Midland RockHounds on Monday night at Security Bank Ballpark.
The RoughRiders scored two runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to put the game out of reach for Midland and take a one-game lead in the series.
The scoreboard read 5-2 in favor of Frisco with two innings of regulation left to play, and the visitors put the game out of reach with a trio of runs.
Ryan Rua opened the frame with a solo home run off reliever Blake Hassebrock. The third baseman cracked his seventh homer of the season and first since April 29.
Jake Skole kept the train rolling with a triple in his second straight game. The three-bagger scored Trever Adams and gave the 'Riders a 7-2 lead.
When Edwin Garcia singled to break a 0-for-12 slump at the plate, Skole scored to put Frisco up 8-2.
On a May 5 meeting at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the RockHounds trailed the RoughRiders by a 6-2 margin at the start of the ninth only to rally and tie the game with a four-run inning.
Midland could not repeat that feat on Monday, but they refused to roll over without a fight. Wilmer Font allowed a walk and two singles to load the bases with one out before Francisco Mendoza entered the game to try and close out the resilient RockHounds.
Mendoza had been the pitcher who blew the four-run lead in the ninth inning on May 5 and looked to avoid a similar fate in Midland. Connor Crumbliss faced the righty first and grounded into a double play. The sequence scored a run, but placed Frisco one out away from the road win.
Anthony Aliotti drew his third walk of the night to keep the game alive and Josh Whitaker singled home a run to make the score 8-4 with two outs and two men on base.
However, Mendoza put the hounds down on a deep fly ball by Kent Matthes. Frisco right fielder Teodoro Martinez retreated to the warning track and brought the ball in with mere feet to spare.
Luke Jackson (4-1) earned the win for the RoughRiders. The right-hander shut out the RockHounds through all five of his innings on the hill and gave up three hits, three walks and struck out seven. He threw 90 pitches and 49 for strikes.
Shawn Haviland (1-3) suffered his second loss against the 'Riders in 2014. Haviland allowed seven hits over the first three innings and his final line included five runs on seven hits four walks and two strikeouts.
In the righty's first appearance against Frisco on May 6, Haviland lasted 2/3 of an inning and gave up six runs on eight hits. The 'Riders have tabbed the starter for 11 runs in seven innings this season.
With the win, Frisco (24-13) moves 11 games above the .500 mark for the first time this year. The 'Riders also won their tenth game of the season on the road and have won seven of the last nine.
Midland (21-16) drops to 1-4 against the RoughRiders in the season series and falls three games out of first in the Texas League South Division.
With a rhythmic approach, the RoughRiders scored once in each of the first three innings. The leadoff hitter also reached in all three frames.
Tomás Telis extended his hit streak to nine games when he drove in Jake Smolinski on a double in the first.
One inning later, Martinez lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Adams and nudge the lead to 2-0.
Frisco tallied its third run off Haviland in the third inning when Telis sent home his second run of the ballgame on a single that scored Drew Robinson.
The RockHounds reached home for the first time in the sixth inning. Keone Kela surrendered his first Double-A run in his third appearance for the 'Riders. Whitaker popped a fly ball over the short porch in right field to make the score 3-1 Frisco. It was Whitaker's seventh home run of the season.
The RoughRiders bumped the lead back to three runs with the reliever, Hassebrock, in to pitch in the seventh inning. Haviland, the starter, allowed two 'Riders to reach on a pair of walks. Hassebrock entered with one out in the frame and gave up consecutive base knocks, first to Patrick Cantwell and then to Smolinski.
Frisco held its largest lead of the night at that point, 5-1, in the seventh inning, but Midland soon cut into the margin.
Kela allowed a leadoff single to open the bottom half of the seventh and conceded three straight walks with one out. The final free base to Aliotti scored a run to make the score 5-2.
Skipper Jason Wood pulled Kela and inserted Font on the mound. The new father induced a ground ball from Whitaker and Garcia made a stellar play at shortstop to trigger the double play and end the inning.
Game two in the RoughRiders' four-game series with the RockHounds is a business special that begins Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in Midland. Coverage begins bright and early at 10:35 a.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show.
The 'Riders return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Wednesday, May 21 to begin a three-game series with the Tulsa Drillers. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail 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.