RockHounds Win Second Half Title
The RockHounds played 1,218 innings of baseball during the 2019 Texas League regular season. Inning # 1,214 turned out to be the biggest of them all. The 'Hounds erased a 5-2 deficit, scoring eight times in the fifth and went to defeat the Cardinals, 11-6, Monday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri.
With the win, the RockHounds are second half champions of the Texas League South Division!
Springfield, which denied the RockHounds a first half title (the Cardinals defeated the 'Hounds at Security Bank Ballpark on the last day of the first half), appeared to be on the way to playing spoiler again when Rayder Ascanio's three-run home run in the second helped put the Redbirds on top, 4-2, and Springfield carried a 5-2 advantage into the fifth.
The RockHounds tied the game, 5-5, on walks and singles with RBI from Nate Mondou (walk), Taylor Motter (single) and Tyler Ramirez (a 10-pitch walk). Greg Deichmann then ripped a two-run single to right-center, giving the 'Hounds a 7-5 lead, and Colling Theroux took the next pitch out over the left field wall, a three-run home run that pushed the lead to 10-5.
North Ruiz, Zack Erwin, Wandisson Charles (two scoreless innings for the win in relief) and Seth Martinez combined to retie 19 of the last 21 Springfield batters to put the game ... and the second half title ... away.
The Texas League South Division Championship Series
Winning the second half means the RockHounds will host games 3, 4, and 5 (if needed) in the (best-of-five) South Division Championship Series, which opens Wednesday at Amarillo.
Games 1 (Wednesday, 7;05 p.m.) and 2 (Thursday, 7:05 p.m.) are at Amarillo with the RockHounds hosting games 3 (Friday, 6:30 p.m.), 4 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.) and 5 (Sunday, 2:00 p.m.) as needed.
The winner of the South Division title series will take on the winner of the Arkansas-Tulsa North Division series for the 2019 Texas League championship.
The RockHounds are back in the Texas League playoffs for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
The 'Hounds captured the second half pennant by winning 11-of-their-last-13 games and 14-of-their-last-18.
Monday's win was the difference in the second half race and was necessary, as Amarillo held off Arkansas, 6-5, in the Panhandle. Had the RockHounds not completed the four-game sweep at Springfield, Amarillo would have won the second half via tiebreaker.
Brallan Perez finished off a sensational series going 1-for-3 with two walks. In the four-game series ... and beginning his third "tour of duty" with the RockHounds ... Brallan went 10-for-18 (,556) and reached base in 12-of-20 trips to the plate (.600 OBP).
Greg Deichmann was a major factor in the Springfield series. He had hits in all four games, going 5-for-13, with two home runs and six RBI. His solo home run in the ninth inning Friday broke a 4-4 tie and was the game-winner (5-4) ... his three-run home run put the 'Hounds on top Saturday in an eventual 4-3 win ... and his two-run single broke a 5-5 tie Monday and was (again) the game-winning swing.
Texas League South Division Championship Series / Game 1
Wednesday, September 4 vs. Amarillo Sod Poodles
Hodgetown Amarillo, Texas
First pitch 7:05 p.m.
- First of the best-of-five division championship
- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 7:00 p.m.
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Texas League Stories from September 3, 2019
- 2019 Texas League North Division Championship at DSP September 4 and 5 - Arkansas Travelers
- Drillers Return to ONEOK Field this Weekend for Playoff Action - Tulsa Drillers
- Amarillo Sod Poodles Secure 2019 Texas League Specialty Awards - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Payoff Pitch: Hooks Records, Torrid Toro - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Texas League concludes honors with announcement of specialty awards - TL
- RockHounds Win Second Half Title - Midland RockHounds
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