Brock Dykxhoorn pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in his longest outing of the year as Corpus Christi downed Northwest Arkansas 5-2 Friday night at Whataburger Field before 5,234.
Dykxhoorn (3-4), who struck out a season-best eight, walked just one in a 93-pitch, 60-strike performance. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound right-hander put away 12 of the last 15 men he faced.
Ramon Laureano provided a first-inning charge for the Hooks (7-8; 41-44). He opened with a double to right off Jake Kalish and then sprinted the remaining 180 feet on J.D. Davis’ warning-track fly out to center fielder Donnie Dewees.
Dykxhoorn began his night by retiring nine of the first 10 Naturals (8-7; 47-38). The 11th, Nicky Lopez, reached on an error charged to second baseman Antonio Nunez. Lopez took the next two bases via wild pitches and crossed on Zach Walters’ sacrifice fly.
Kalish (0-3), who retired 10 straight Hooks from the second through the fifth, surrendered Davis’ sharp single to left and a shift-beating RBI double from Jon Singleton just inside the left-field line. Zach Lovvorn was summoned from the bullpen, only to give up Jack Mayfield’s ground-rule double for a 3-1 Corpus Christi advantage. That closed the book on Kalish after five hits, two walks, and six strikeouts.
Lovvorn’s walk of Garrett Stubbs and a fielding error on shortstop Humberto Arteaga loaded the bases, and nine-hole hitter Arturo Michelena produced an RBI ground out.
Davis tallied the fifth Corpus Christi run during the seventh. He stroked a one-out double to right-center, took third on Singleton’s deep fly out, and home when Lovvorn bounced a wild pitch. Mayfield added a two-out triple.
Northwest Arkansas conveyed a one-out double by Arteaga into a run against Andrew Walter in the ninth, Anderson Miller posting an RBI ground out. Ryan Thompson converted his fourth save with runners at first and second by getting Jack Lopez on a pop up to Nunez.
The Hooks change opponents Saturday as the Arkansas Travelers arrive for three games. Yoanys Quiala (1-0) takes the mound at 7:05; his opponent is Lindsey Caughel (5-7).
The first 2,000 fans take home a Hooks Pink Camo Cap from AutoNation. Gates open at 5:35.