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Hounds Rally for Series Split

May 19, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Corpus Christi Hooks News Release

MIDLAND - A sun-aided, pop-fly double off the bat of Kevin Merrell was the key swing in a three-run seventh that sent the RockHounds to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Hooks before 3,450 fans in Sunday's series finale at Security Bank Ballpark.

The Midland (21-21) rally spoiled a fine start by J.B. Bukauskas, who struck out six and did not issue a walk over six sterling innings. After permitting a run in the first, Bukauskas retired 17 of the final 18 men he faced.

Corpus Christi (21-21) seized a 2-1 edge in the second against James Naile. Granden Goetzman opened the frame by belting a 3-2 pitch over the 18-foot wall in left field for his ninth home run of the year, which is tied for the league lead. Ronnie Dawson, celebrating his 24th birthday, was next and smacked a double to right-center. Two outs later, Josh Rojas sent a single through the left side for his 22nd RBI.

The Hooks added a marker in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Seth Beer off southpaw Zack Erwin (2-2). Beer is 4-for-6 with a home run, three RBIs, three runs scored, and two walks in his last two games.

Justin Ferrell (0-2) was summoned from the pen in the seventh with Corpus Christi ahead, 3-1. In the frame, Jonah Heim worked a seven-pitch walk and Edwin Diaz coaxed a 10-pitch free pass, giving Merrell a two-out chance. The Hounds' nine-hole hitter lifted a high fly ball into left field that Chas McCormick lost in the sun. Heim and Diaz scored on the play to tie the game.

Luis Barrera then cracked a 1-1 pitch by Colin McKee into right-field, scoring Merrell from second base for the go-ahead run.

McCormick and Rojas notched base hits in the ninth but John Gorman was able to leave them at the corners for his second save.

The scene shifts to the Texas Panhandle where Corpus Christi will engage Amarillo in a three-game series. Brandon Bielak is slated to start for the Hooks on Monday night. The Sod Poodles plan to counter with T.J. Weir. First pitch 7 p.m.

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