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RockHounds Fall in Extras to Cardinals

June 14, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Midland RockHounds News Release

As unlikely (or nearly impossible) as it would have seemed 10 days ago, the Texas League South Division first half race became even tighter ... and even more intriguing ... Thursday night at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri.

The Cardinals' (9-8) walk-off win made Corpus Christi the only South club to win and, in turn, means the division's four clubs are now separated by a half-game with four games remaining (see below).

The RockHounds and Cardinals went back-and-forth throughout the series finale, scoring runs by every method from a pair of three-run home runs to a balk.

Jose Godoy's second monster home run in as many games, this one with two men on, put Springfield up, 3-0, after four innings.

Dairon Blanco's two-run double in the fifth and a four-run sixth, capped by a three-run home run off the bat of Tyler Ramirez, gave the RockHounds a 6-3 lead.

Springfield answered, scoring four in the seventh, fueled by Dylan Carlson. The 21-year-old, a top 10 prospect for St. Louis, drove in a run with a single ... hustled to second on the play on an off-target throw ... and went to third on a ground out. He then bluffed down the line, resulting in a balk by Trey Cochran-Gill, and scored the tying run (the Cardinals then broke the tie on an RBI ground out).

Kevin Merrell's "hustle double" leading off the eighth turned into the tying run on Mikey White's sacrifice fly and the 'Hounds (after neither club scored in the 10th) took an 8-7 lead when Merrell scored from third on a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt by White (when we left the air on RockHounds Radio, the play had been scored an error but was later, correctly, changed to a sacrifice bunt / RBI).

The single run didn't stand up, however, as an RBI double by Conner Caple to left field tied the game in the home half of the 11th and Zach Kirtley's third hit of the game, a single to right off John Gorman, brought Caple home with the game winner.

The Pennant Race

With just four (4) games remaining in the first half pennant race, the South Division is c-r-a-z-y. The RockHounds and Corpus Christi (both 32-33) lead Frisco (32-34) and Amarillo (31-33) by a half-game.

The RoughRiders have now dropped seven straight. Frisco had swept a three-game series at Amarillo (June 3-4-5) before coming to Security Bank Ballpark last weekend. The Riders, who had led the division virtually wire-to-wire to that point, dropped all four games at Rocky Town and were then swept in a three-gamer in the Metroplex.

Matchups for the three-game series' beginning Friday:

Frisco hosts NW Arkansas

Amarillo hosts Tulsa

Corpus Christi at Springfield

RockHounds at Arkansas

Notables

Despite dropping 2-of-3 to the Cardinals, the 'Hounds have won 7-of-their-last-9.

The game spanned three hours, 46 minutes (3:46) but, long before extras, the 'Hounds let three scoring chances go by the boards, leaving the bases loaded in the first and runners at second and third in the fourth and (after scoring twice) in the fifth.

Springfield continues to be a baseball "home/road dichotomy." The Cardinals are now 19-15 at Hammons Field and 7-25 when playing out of the suitcase.

Springfield pitching struck out 47 batters in 29 innings over the course of the series. The Kardinals (misspelling most definitely intended) posted the whiffs while facing 127 batters ... 37 percent.

Next Game

Friday, June 14 vs. Arkansas Travelers

Dickey-Stephens Park North Little Rock, Arkansas

First pitch 7:10 p.m.

- First of a three-game series and fourth of a six-game road trip

- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 7:00 p.m.

Probable Starters

ARK: Ricardo Sanchez (LH, 5-4, 3.49)

RH: Matt Milburn (RH, 3-4, 4.78)


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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