Milburn, Motter Lead Hounds Closer to Playoffs
Matt Milburn continued his brilliant month of August, going seven strong innings, and Taylor Motter drove in two of the RockHounds' four runs in a 4-2 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wednesday night at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas.
The victory brings the RockHounds to the brink of a playoff berth and a return to the Texas League postseason (see below).
Milburn survived (another) first-inning scare with two men on and one out, then allowed only an infield single and a walk over his next four innings before surrendering two runs in the sixth. Just one of the runs was earned ... the 'Hounds played errorless ball but a passed ball allowed a run to score. Milburn walked one batter and struck out four in what was his sixth outstanding start of the month (see below).
Nate Mondou's squeeze bunt (a "half bunt, half slash") pushed across the game's first run in the third and Motter blasted a J.C. Cloney pitch way out of the yard to left field in the fourth. He drove in the 'Hounds' third run as well with a line drive single to left in the fifth.
The RockHounds, who have won 7-of-their-last-8 games (corrected) and 10-of-their-last-13, could clinch a playoff spot as early as Thursday and remain in contention in the second half pennant race.
The Texas League South Division
Amarillo defeated Tulsa, 9-8, on Buddy Reed's walk-off home run in the ninth Wednesday afternoon. The Sod Poodles (36-29) hold a one-game lead over the RockHounds (35-30) in the second half race with a magic number of five.
The wild card race is "on the brink." The RockHounds' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one (1) over Corpus Christi and two (2) over Frisco.
There are just five (5) games remaining in the Texas League's 2019 regular season.
Congratulations to Brian Howard, who has been named to the 2019 Texas League Postseason All-Star Team. The 24-year-old St. Louis native leads the Texas League in ERA (3.02) and ranks 4th in WHIP (1.32) ... 5th in opponent average (.269) ... and 7th in K's (113).
Nate Mondou (2-for-5, RBI) is 8-for-12 in the series (on-base in 10-of-14 trips to the plate). On July 18, Nate was hitting .200. He is now at .249 and is hitting .349 in his last 22 games (30-86).
Matt Milburn his now 3-1, with a 1.95 ERA in six starts during the month of August.
Thursday, August 29 vs. NW Arkansas Naturals
Arvest Ballpark Springdale, Arkansas
First pitch 7:05 p.m.
- Final of a four-game series and fourth of an eight-game road trip (NW Arkansas & Springfield)
- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 7:00 p.m.
NWA: Scott Blewett (RH, 0-3, 4.05)
RH: Brian Howard (RH, 8-7. 3.02)
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Texas League Stories from August 29, 2019
- Drillers Power Seven Homers in Win over Amarillo - Tulsa Drillers
- Naturals Punch out 'Hounds in Series Finale Win - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Leblanc Tees off in Series Finale - Frisco RoughRiders
- Whitley Wonderful in 2-1 Hooks Win - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Hooks Eliminated from Playoff Contention in 8-6 Loss - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Sod Poodles Manager Phillip Wellman Named 2019 Texas League Manager of the Year - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Pete Woodworth Voted League Coach of the Year - Arkansas Travelers
- Texas League Names Manager and Coach of the Year - TL
- 2020 Regular Season Schedule Announced - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Milburn, Motter Lead Hounds Closer to Playoffs - Midland RockHounds
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