San Antonio Missions

Ornelas Walks It off as Missions Come Back to Beat RockHounds

June 23, 2023 - Texas League (TL)
San Antonio Missions News Release

San Antonio Missions' Tirso Ornelas
San Antonio Missions' Tirso Ornelas
(San Antonio Missions)

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Missions continued their series against the Midland RockHounds on Friday night at Wolff Stadium. San Antonio trailed 3-0 nearly the entire game, but in the seventh inning, the offense took things into their own hands and tied the score. Tirso Ornelas then hit a walk-off single in the ninth, sending the big crowd home happy with a 4-3 Missions win.

The RockHounds wasted little time jumping on Daniel Camarena, San Antonio's starting pitcher. A walk and a single placed runners at the corners in the first inning for Denzel Clarke, who drove in the night's first run with a groundball that Ripken Reyes couldn't handle at second base. Then with two outs and runners again at first and third, Midland brought home another run via a wild pitch to start the game with a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, the Missions threatened to respond against Midland's starter, Joey Estes. Ornelas singled and Daniel Johnson doubled, but Estes left them both in scoring position and kept Midland on top.

Midland got going again in the third. They led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and a double. Clarke then lifted a sacrifice fly to deep left field, but Johnson did gun down Greg Deichmann on a perfect throw to third base. Camarena ended the inning afterwards, so Midland led 3-0.

The Missions made some noise in the fourth inning. Johnson got on with a single and made it all the way to third off a stolen base and wild pitch. Connor Hollis reached with a walk, so San Antonio covered the corners. Ray-Patrick Didder shot a line drive to left field, but Lazaro Armenteros dove and made a fantastic catch to end the inning with no runs scored.

After five innings from Camarena, Nick Hernandez entered from the bullpen. He threw a scoreless sixth before allowing a pair of base runners in the seventh. Aaron Leasher came in with two outs in the inning and induced a ground ball to third base that ended the frame.

It wasn't until the seventh inning that the San Antonio offense came alive. Hollis flicked a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. That mistake proved to be critical, as Hollis hustled home on a Juan Fernandez single with two outs. With the Missions on the board for the first time, Jake Perez earned his first career Double-A hit and forced Midland to turn to the bullpen.

With plenty of trouble already brewing, Jorge Juan couldn't stop San Antonio's spell. Reyes and Ornelas waffled consecutive run-scoring hits, tying the game at three. Juan managed to strand two more runners on base, so the game remained even after seven innings.

In the eighth, Leasher retired two RockHounds, but he exited the game after walking a pair of batters. Jose Quezada escaped the jam on his first pitch, keeping Midland at three runs. Similarly, the Missions put two runners on in the bottom of the inning, but they failed to break the tie.

Quezada continued his dominance with a clean ninth, bringing the Missions to the plate with a chance to walk it off. Perez kept up his remarkable first game in a Missions uniform with a pristine leadoff bunt. Reyes was then hit while trying to bunt him over, setting Ornelas up for the magical moment. Ornelas snuck a single into right field, letting Perez furiously run home where he slid in just ahead of the tag. The Wolff Stadium crowd erupted into a frenzy with a 4-3 Missions victory in hand.

Post-Game Notes

* Final Score: 4-3

* With the win, San Antonio improves to 37-30 on the season

* Jackson Wolf (#16 Padres prospect): Scheduled to pitch Sunday, June 25th

* Alek Jacob (#26 Padres prospect): DNP

* Tirso Ornelas (#28 Padres prospect): 3-5, 2 RBI, walk-off single

* Daniel Camarena (Missions starter): 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K

* Lawrence Butler (#7 Athletics prospect): 2-5, R

* Joey Estes (RockHounds starter): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K

The San Antonio Missions will continue their six-game series with the Midland RockHounds on Saturday, June 24th. Right-hander Jose Espada (0-2, 3.60) is scheduled to pitch for the Missions. Right-hander Ryan Cusick (3-4, 4.11) is scheduled to pitch for the RockHounds. Saturday's first pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. from Nelson Wolff Stadium.

Images from this story

San Antonio Missions' Tirso Ornelas
San Antonio Missions' Tirso Ornelas


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