NASHVILLE, Tennessee - The Round Rock Dance Halls (38-41) twirled their way past the Nashville Honky Tonks (38-41) by a final score of 10-0 to win the inaugural Battle For The Boot series between the two American Southern Division rivals. With the win, Round Rock can now claim itself as the real "Music City." The Dance Halls won the first meeting 4-3 on May 5 at Dell Diamond.
Dance Halls starter and Amarillo native RHP Clayton Blackburn (2-0, 4.61) dominated the Honky Tonks, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out nine over six innings in the winning performance. Nashville starter RHP Zach Neal (1-4, 4.09) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on 10 hits in four innings.
Round Rock scored early and often. In the second inning, C Brett Nicholas launched a solo home run, his sixth of the year, to put the visitors up 1-0. An inning later, SS Jurickson Profar singled before scoring on a Jared Hoying double. After moving to third on an ensuing Will Middlebrooks groundout, Hoying scored on a Ryan Rua single to increase the lead to 3-0.
With RHP Lou Trivino on to pitch, Profar and Hoying collected back-to-back singles to open the fifth inning. A Rua groundout sent Hoying to the plate before a Nicholas single drove Hoying home to make it 5-0. DH A.J. Jimenez and Dallas native RF Preston Beck kicked off the sixth inning with consecutive singles prior to a Profar RBI double. Greenville, Texas-born Middlebrooks then poked a sacrifice fly to deep right field that allowed Beck to trot home.
In the seventh, 1B Ronald Guzman manufactured a walk off RHP Kyle Finnegan , then raced all the way home on a Beck double two hitters later. The inning continued as 2B Drew Robinson , Profar and Hoying all worked walks, the latest of which forced in Round Rock's ninth run of the evening.
Nashville SS Melvin Mercedes moved from the infield to the pitcher's mound in the ninth inning. The shortstop hit Jimenez with a pitch before a recording a fielder's choice that left Robinson safe at first base. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Middlebrooks, who singled home Robinson to make it 10-0.
The Dance Halls pitching staff combined to face just two hitters over the minimum. Blackburn's only troublesome inning came in the sixth as C Beau Taylor singled prior to a Mercedes walk. However, the righty recovered to retire CF Jaff Decker and 3B Yario Munoz to end the threat. Rehabbing Texas Rangers RHP Tony Barnette tossed two perfect innings, striking out two in the process. RHP Sam Wolff closed out the win with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The Round Rock Dance Halls transform back into the Express for Friday night's series opener against the Iowa Cubs. Neither team's starting pitcher has been announced as of yet. First pitch Principal Park in Des Moines is set for 7:08 p.m.
Single game tickets, season memberships, Flex Plans and Kids Club packages are on sale now. For more information on the Express, visit or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.