Bullish Bielak Leads CC
AMARILLO - Brandon Bielak held the Sod Poodles hitless over the first five frames while Carlos Sanabria and Erasmo Pinales pitched shutout relief as the Hooks picked up a 5-1 victory in Monday's series opener before 5,353 fans at Hodgetown.
Corpus Christi (22-21) has won eight of the last 12 contests and now stands a half game back of first-place Frisco in the Texas League South first-half race.
Bielak retired 15 of the first 16 men he faced, with the exception being a two-out walk to Buddy Reed in the third. The lone marker against him came in the sixth on a sacrifice fly. He struck out a season-best nine batters against two hits.
Bielak matched J.B. Bukauskas, who worked six innings Sunday afternoon, for the longest outing by a Hooks pitcher this year. Bielak (3-0) owns a 2.57 ERA in four May starts.
Sanabria was summoned to protect a 5-1 lead in the seventh. He struck out four over two innings of work while stranding three on base. The 22-year-old out of Maracay, Venezuela, has not yielded a run in his last five outings, spanning 9.2 innings. Sanabria has struck out 11 against three hits during this stretch.
Pinales, making his season debut, punched out two in the ninth, working around a lead-off single by Owen Miller. The Hooks got to T.J. Weir for four runs over the first two innings.
Corpus Christi capitalized on two Amarillo (19-23) errors and three walks, collecting a pair of RBI singles by Seth Beer. Ronnie Dawson and Abraham Toro plated runs as well.
Granden Goetzman gave the visitors their fifth run with a line drive single into center, in the seventh chasing Beer home from second base.
Beer has seven hits in his last nine at-bats, driving in five runs in the process. Toro went 2-for-3 with two walks, raising his batting average to .306. The switch-hitting third baseman leads the Texas League with 33 RBIs.
Reigning Texas League Pitcher of the Week Bryan Abreu takes the ball for Corpus Christi Tuesday night. He will be opposed by Lake Bachar. First pitch 7:05.
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