RoughRiders Fall to the Hooks

–Jake Thompson notched a career-high 12 strikeouts but the Corpus Christi Hooks used a four-run ninth inning to avoid a four-game sweep and win the series finale 5-4 against the Frisco RoughRiders.

Thompson faired far better in his second start against the Hooks. Thompson threw a season-high seven scoreless innings allowing just five hits and surpassed 100 pitches for the first time since joining the Texas Rangers organization. On April 28, the Hooks tagged Thompson for 10 hits and seven runs over four innings. This time around the Hooks had no answer for the right-hander. Thompson struck out the final four hitters he faced.

The Riders scored in the top of the third when Nomar Mazara singled to bring in Nick Williams giving Frisco a 1-0 lead. Hooks starter Mark Appel struck out Drew Robinson to end the frame, leaving the bases loaded.

After two quick outs to begin the fourth, Appel walked Jake Skole and Williams drove a double into the right field corner to give Frisco a 2-0 lead. The throw home allowed Williams to advance to third base and eventually score when the next batter Tyler Pastornicky beat out an infield single. Hooks manager Rodney Linares removed Appel with two outs in the fourth.

In the fifth inning, Jorge Alfaro led off with his second home run of the season to give the Riders a 4-0 lead.

Cody Kendall allowed an unearned run and two hits in the eighth inning. The Hooks capitalized on a Joey Gallo throwing as Tyler Heineman doubled home Teoscar Hernandez to cut the Riders lead to 4-1. Carlos Correa followed with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With runners on second and third, Kendall struck out Conrad Gregor with an elevated fastball before getting Brandon Meredith to fly out to escape the inning.

Josh McElwee (0-1) entered the game in the ninth inning and after striking out leadoff hitter Jon Kemmer, the Hooks began their comeback. Tyler White walked, Leo Heras and Hernandez both singled to load the bases and McElwee walked Tony Kemp allowing White to score from third cutting the Riders lead to 4-2.

Joe Mikulik replaced McElwee with Jesus Pirela with one out and the bases still loaded. Pirela struck out Heineman for the second out but Correa launched a three-run walk-off double to the gap in left field and the game was over.

The Riders finished its eight game road trip with a 6-2 record and are now 9-5 on the road this season.

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Jason Vaughn

Jason Vaughn is a profession balloon artist and entertainer and runs a weekly podcast on Texas. He is also a public speaker promoting entrepreneurship to youth and creative thinking to corporations and clubs,