ROUND ROCK--The Express rode an outstanding start by Brandon Bielak to a 6-1 win over the Missions on Thursday night at Dell Diamond to claim three of four in the series. The loss virtually eliminates San Antonio from the division race as they head to Nashville for a season-ending four game series.
The Missions trail Round Rock by three games. Their only chance at claiming the American Southern Division crown is if they sweep all four games in Nashville while Round Rock losses all four games in Omaha. Nashville is 18-8 in the month of August while Omaha is 8-18 and owns the PCL's worst record this season.
Tyler Austin's ninth inning homerun prevented the Missions from getting shutout for the third time in eight games.
Bielak cruised through six innings, allowing just three singles while striking out six against one walk. It marked the 12th time in his 15 outings with the Express in which he lasted at least six innings.
Tempers flared in the bottom of the eighth inning after San Antonio reliever Jimmy Nelson threw consecutive pitches high and tight to Nick Tanielu. Home plate umpire Alex McKay issued warnings to both sides. Missions pitching coach Fred Dabney was ejected after arguing with the umpires.
Things got even chippier when Miguel Sanchez took over for Nelson in the inning. Facing his third hitter, Ronnie Dawson, Sanchez fired a fastball up and in. Dawson and Missions catcher Jacob Nottingham had a brief verbal altercation and were quickly ejected by McKay after he stepped between the two. Both benches emptied and team's respective bullpens spilled onto the field, but no punches were thrown.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.