Round Rock Bested by San Antonio in 11-6 Decision
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (27-19) dropped their first game against the rival San Antonio Missions (28-19) since early May on Thursday night at Dell Diamond by an 11-6 final score. The E-Train offense gave a potential comeback their all, but was shut down by 15 Missions' hits and a trio of three-RBI performances.
San Antonio RHP Jake Petricka (1-1, 3.38) earned his first win after holding the Express scoreless in 2.1 innings out of the Missions' bullpen, allowing only two hits while striking out four. Round Rock RHP Forrest Whitley (0-3, 12.21) suffered the loss after surrendering seven runs on six hits and three walks in a 2.0 inning start.
After narrowly avoiding a perfect game on Wednesday night, the Missions poured it on the Express from the start. In the first inning, San Antonio 3B Tyler Saladino notched a base hit moments before RF Tyrone Taylor collected San Antonio's first home run of the evening, a two-run shot that gave his team an early advantage.
The next inning, the visitors tacked on a David Freitas single, a Nate Orf walk and a Mauricio Dubon single prior to a three-run double by Saladino, widening the gap to 5-0. The Missions didn't let up in the third as CF Corey Spangenberg tallied a leadoff solo blast followed by a Troy Stokes Jr. walk. The outfielder then advanced to third on a Nate Orf double, then raced home on a Jake Hager fielder's choice.
LF Kyle Tucker got the E-Train on the board in the fifth thanks to a two-run homer that also plated 2B Jack Mayfield, who had previously singled. To bring the Express within 7-4, C Jamie Ritchie smoked an RBI double, and reached third thanks to a Derek Fisher base hit. The catcher later hustled home when Petricka threw a wild pitch shortly after relieving rehabbing Milwaukee Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson.
Not to be outdone, Saladino and Taylor worked back-to-back singles the following inning to set up Spangenberg for his second multi-run homer of the evening, a three-run shot that set Round Rock back 10-4. In the top of the eighth, Taylor tacked on San Antonio's 11th run via an AJ Reed fielding error to take a comfortable seven-run lead over Round Rock.
Mayfield attempted to spark an eighth inning comeback with a leadoff solo blast, followed by single and double, off the bats of Tucker and Reed, respectively. Tucker ultimately added a run for the E-Train after a Drew Ferguson ground out to bring the team within 11-6, but the deficit proved to be too much or the Express to overcome.
The Express close out the second leg of their I-35 Rivalry Series with the Missions in game four on Friday night. San Antonio RHP Zack Brown (1-3, 5.40) is slated to start against a Round Rock pitcher to be announced. First pitch at Dell Diamond is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.
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