RockHounds Clinch Playoff Birth
School may be back in session but, to paraphrase Pink Floyd ... "we don't need no arithmetic." The RockHounds are back in the playoffs!
Greg Deichmann launched ... and we mean launched ... a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, breaking a 4-4 tie. John Gorman then retired the side in order in the last of the ninth to seal a 5-4 win over the Cardinals Friday night at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri.
Amarillo's (15-6) win at home over Arkansas eliminated Frisco from the second half race ... and the 'Hounds' victory eliminated the RoughRiders from the (potential) wild card, putting the RockHounds into the Texas League South Division Championship Series against the Sod Poodles.
The Cardinals erased a 4-1 deficit in the eighth, a rally capped by a two-run single from catcher Julio Rodriguez. Deichmann answered with an absolute blast, high over the wall in right-center, in the top of the ninth, a shot that propelled the RockHounds into the postseason.
The Last of the Math!
Amarillo's magic number over the RockHounds in the second half race is now three.
The Sod Poodles and RockHounds will meet in the South Division Championship, with the best-of-five series opening next Wednesday in Amarillo. The only thing remaining to be determined is the second half pennant. If the Sod Poodles hold on to their lead (and they do hold the tiebreaker), Amarillo would host games 1, 2, and 5 (if needed) in the series. The RockHounds will host games 3 and 4 (if needed).
The RockHounds, who return to the Texas League postseason for the fifth time in the last six seasons, have one 8-of-their-last-10 and 11-of-15.
Brallan Perez, Chase Calabuig and Mickey McDonald led a 13-hit attack. Perez (in the first game of his third tour of duty with the club his season) went 4-for-5 ... Calabuig 3-for-4 (plus a walk) ... and McDonald 2-for-3 (two runs, double, walk).
Kyle Friedrichs didn't figure in the decision but turned in another outstanding performance, allowing one run (earned) on five hits and three walks over six innings, while striking out seven. In his last eight appearances, Kyle is 4-2, with a 2.44 ERA.
Pitchers Grant Holmes and James Kaprielian have been promoted to (Triple-A) Las Vegas. Grant went 6-5, with a 3.31 ERA, 1.20 and held opposing hitters to a .235 average. While he didn't have enough innings to officially qualify among the league's leaders, his numbers would have been second in the league in WHIP and third in both ERA and opponent average. James pitched a virtually full season for the first time in his pro career and was outstanding with the RockHounds, going 2-1, with a 1.63 ERA in seven games (five starts). Both James (# 13) and Grant (# 14) are ranked among the Oakland A's top 30 prospects by MLB.com.
Cody Stull has been activated from the Injured List. The left-hander is 2-2, with a 3.03 ERA in 28 relief appearances with the RockHounds.
Pitchers Jhenderson Hurtado and Mitchell Jordan are expected to join the club ... and to make their respective Double-A debuts ... this weekend. Both will join the 'Hounds from the Single-A ranks.
Saturday, August 31 vs. Springfield Cardinals
Hammons Field Springfield, Missouri
First pitch 7:10 p.m.
- Second of a four-game series and sixth of an eight-game road trip
- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 7:00 p.m.
SPR: Evan Kruczynski (LH, 3-8, 5.69)
RH: T B A (RH, 6-7, 3.54)
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Texas League Stories from August 31, 2019
- Sod Poodles Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short in 9-7 Loss to Travelers - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Naturals Split Twin Bill with Roughriders - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- RockHounds Clinch Playoff Birth - Midland RockHounds
- Riders Split Twin Bill with Naturals - Frisco RoughRiders
- Cardinals Come up Short in 5-4 Loss to RockHounds - Springfield Cardinals
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