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'Hounds Walk-Off with 3-2 Win in Opener with Frisco

May 7, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Midland RockHounds News Release

One of "Murphy's Laws of Minor League Baseball" is that on special event nights, fireworks being a prime example, the game is less than wonderful (home team gets blown out, four-hour game, 17 errors, you get the idea). Then there are the nights on which Hollywood seems to have written the script.

In the first meeting of the year between the RockHounds and Frisco - a Saturday fireworks night - the clubs played a two-hour, 38-minute game that had drama, excellent pitching, exceptional defense and, ultimately, a walk-off swing of the bat.

With the score tied, 2-2, in the last of the ninth, Andy Paz ripped a line drive to left-center field, scoring Yairo Munoz, who had doubled to right to lead off the inning, giving the 'Hounds a 3-2 win, their fifth victory in a row, outright first place in the Texas League South and, yes, fireworks - all in front of an outstanding crowd of 6,135.

Video: Midland's Paz wins it with walk-off hit

The RockHounds might have been trailing entering the last of the ninth had it not been for a sensational double play in the top half of the inning. With runners at first and second and one out, Richie Martin made a diving stop on a ball hit up the middle by Frisco's Scott Heineman. From the ground, Martin backhanded a toss to Max Schrock and the RockHounds second baseman fired the relay throw in time to first for an inning-ending, run-denying double play.

Schrock also made a tremendous play in the seventh, with the RockHounds in the shift, throwing out Luke Tendler from shallow right field near the line. That play, too, denied Frisco a run.

The RockHounds took a first-inning lead on Tyler Marincov 's sacrifice fly, driving in J.P. Sportman, but Frisco answered with two in the second, keyed by Matt Lipka's RBI double.

The RoughRiders held the 2-1 lead until the sixth, when Sportman singled Shrock doubled leading off the inning. Marincov, on an 0-2 count, bounced out to shortstop, again bringing Sportman home, this time with the tying run. Thanks to excellent pitching and defense the 2-2 tie stood until Paz's ninth-inning heroics.

RockHounds starter Corey Walter and Frisco's James Dykstra were outstanding, each giving up just one earned run. Walter went five innings, allowing four hits and two walks, walking two and striking out six (his earned run average went "up" to 1,29). Dykstra went six innings, and allowed seven hits with no walks and four whiffs (his ERA is now at 1.46).

Brandon Mann went 3.1 scoreless innings and Sam Bragg got the final two outs, both benefitting from the tremendous "D" from Martin and Schrock. Bragg (3-1, 1.35) was the winner while Mann extended his scoreless innings streak to 15.1 over his last four appearances.

The RockHounds and Frisco RoughRiders meet Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., then wrap up the series with games on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. each night.

Right-hander Collin Wiles (3-0, 2.90) gets the start Sunday afternoon for Frisco, with Brett Graves making his Double-A debut with the RockHounds. The right-hander, Oakland's third round draft selection in 2013 out of the University of Missouri, posted a 2.55 ERA in seven appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton. He struck out 29 batters and walked just three in 24.2 innings.

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