Playoff Race Heats Up Between RockHounds and Hooks

BY MICHAEL HAMMOND | Minor League Knocks

Aug. 23, 2017 | Midland RockHounds 8, Corpus Christi Hooks 4 | Texas League (AA)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Midland RockHounds pulled away in the sixth inning en route to an 8-4 road win over the Corpus Christi Hooks in the middle of the second half playoff race at Whataburger Field on Wednesday in Corpus Christi, Texas.

After dropping a 5-1 decision to the Hooks on Tuesday, Midland retook its 3.5 game lead for the second half playoff spot in the Texas League South Division.

The RockHounds started off their night with a two-run Viosergy Rosa homer in the first inning and led for the game’s entirety. Jorge Mateo hit a two-out, bases-loaded single to score Tyler Ramirez and give Midland a 3-0 in the top half of the fourth. Sheldon Neuse was thrown out on the same play for the final out of the inning.

Corpus Christi clawed back with a Kyle Tucker home run and a Miles Straw RBI-single in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to make it a 3-2 ballgame. However, Midland responded in the top of the sixth by batting around for four runs.

With three hits and three walks in the sixth, the RockHounds saw Neuse, Sean Murphy, Mateo, and Rosa each come across to score.

Ramon Laureano homered in the sixth for the Hooks, but that would be as close as they got as Midland’s B.J. Boyd and Laureano each traded eighth inning long balls to end the scoring at 8-4.

Heath Fillmyer continued upon his stellar 10-4 season allowing three runs over 6.1 innings of work. He may as well have been called Filth-myer with the eight strikeouts he racked up, three of them looking.

The Houston Astros’ Evan Gattis made his first rehab appearance for the Hooks since going on the disabled list, but was ineffective in the three-hole, going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. His best at-bat was a first inning warning-track flyout to left.

With two games left in the series and two weeks left in the season, Midland and Corpus Christi will fight for second in the second half standings and the final playoff spot with first half winner San Antonio sitting on top with a three game lead.

SCOREBOARD

Midland RockHounds (64-64)                       200  104  010 – 8 13 0

Corpus Christi Hooks (58-69)                                    000  111  010 – 4 7 1

THE SERIES

8/22     Corpus Christi 5, Midland 1

8/23     Midland 8, Corpus Christi 4

8/24-8/25        Midland at Corpus Christi

PROSPECT WATCH

Midland RockHounds (OAK)

#20      Sean Murphy              1/3, R, 2 BB                            .210/.279/.278, 2 HR, 18 RBI

Corpus Christi Hooks (HOU)

#2        Kyle Tucker                1/4, R, RBI, HR, BB, 2 K       .256/.304/.479, 12 HR, 33 RBI

#13      Ramon Laureano        2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR, 2 K      .210/.286/.337, 7 HR, 44 RBI

THE BALLPARK

Whataburger Field is a beautiful stadium with one of the best backdrops you will ever see. From left to right it goes berm seating, rustic shack, scoreboard, rustic shack, kids’ playground, hitters eye, Harbor Bridge, berm seating, party deck, picnic area. All while sitting across the street from the Main Turning Basin which has visible water traffic beyond the left field fence.

PROMOTIONS

It was Whataburger Family Day on Wednesday and what that was I don’t have a clue. The only thing they did for the promotion was announce it during the pregame.

NEXT STOP

Frisco Rough Riders at San Antonio Missions on Aug. 24.

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