Hooks Rally Late and Walk Off in Extras Against Frisco

Rene Garcia scored from third base on Francisco Mendoza's wild pitch with two away in the 11th, lifting Corpus Christi past Frisco 4-3 Friday night at Whataburger Field before 5,872. Garcia hit into a fielder's choice, forcing Leo Heras (walk) at the keystone for the second out. Carlos Perdomo's looper into right field advanced Garcia to third. With right-handed Jio Mier at the plate, Mendoza's 1-1 pitch found dirt deep inside the batter's box and squirted to the backstop.

Dramatic long balls from two distinctly different sources were the story late in regulation. Heras' second yard shot of 2014 took Corpus Christi off life support in the ninth. Down to two outs, Heras, a .206 hitter, took Mendoza (2-1) to the right-center field berm through a 21-mph wind for a 3-3 tie.

In the eighth, Frisco's Joey Gallo reminded everyone at the Ballpark by the Bay just who leads professional baseball in home runs.

Gallo, a .326 hitter, powered Tommy Shirley's first-pitch fastball onto the left-field berm for a three-run bomb and 3-2 lead. Gallo hit 21 home runs at Class A Myrtle Beach and has four as a RoughRider since promotion last Sunday.

Frisco's go-ahead rally materialized with two outs. Jake Smolinski reached on first baseman Telvin Nash's error and Tomas Telis an infield hit.

Shirley and Hooks starter Kyle Smith combined for 14 strikeouts; the Hooks racked up 18 overall. Texas State product Travis Ballew (4-1) faced eight hitters over the final two frames, allowing a hit and a walk.

Corpus Christi's first hit off Jerad Eickhoff led to the night's initial runs. Ruben Sosa legged out an infield roller to open the home fourth and was sacrificed into scoring position by Nolan Fontana. Andrew Aplin then drew a walk and executed a double steal with Sosa. Both scored on Heras' two-out, bad-hop base hit over first baseman Ryan Rua.

Frisco loaded the bases on two singles and a base-on-balls in the fifth, but Trever Adams whiffed for the third time, running Smith's strikeout total to nine.

Smith, who entered Friday's game having allowed one earned run in each of his previous five starts, yielded four hits and walked two in an 80-pitch outing (58 strikes). His nine punch outs matched a team season high (Luis Cruz May 19 vs. Midland).

Eickhoff was pulled for Ryan Bores after six complete, three hits, two walks, five strikeouts and 91 pitches (50).

By virtue of San Antonio's 9-1 home win over Midland earlier Friday, Frisco clinched the Texas League South Division first-half title and a postseason berth.

The series and homestand conclude Saturday at 7:10, when Corpus Christi's Brady Rodgers (1-8) meets Luke Jackson (7-2). The first 1,750 fans take home a Hooks Camo Button-Down Jersey from CITGO. Master Illusionist Michael Grandinetti also performs, courtesy of CPL Retail Energy.

-Courtesy CCHooks.com


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