CORPUS CHRISTI (CC Hooks) - San Antonio rode an eight-run, seven-hit fifth to a 13-9 defeat of Corpus Christi Sunday at Whataburger Field before 6,626.
The Missions and Hooks are tied for the Texas League South Division second-half lead with identical 40-29 records. The half champion will be determined in Monday's regular-season finale, the winner gaining home-field advantage for the best-of-five divisional playoffs, which begin here Wednesday.
Corpus Christi captured the first-half title at 42-28.
TL playoff scenarios include a 2-2-1 home-road-home order should the Hooks win on Labor Day and a 2-3 road-home format for the Missions if victorious.
Corpus Christi starter David Rollins (0-3) was removed four batters into the fateful frame after Rocky Gale's RBI single, the third hit of the wave. Reliever T.J. Geith hit Lee Orr with a pitch to load the bases for Jeudy Valdez, who smoked a two-run ground-rule double to left-center. Next came Rico Noel, who ripped a two-run triple the same direction. Adam Buschini and Tommy Medica flexed two-out power, Buschini with an RBI double and Medica a two-run jack, his second of the night and third of the series.
Rollins yielded eight runs, 10 hits and walked three over 4 1/3. He struck out four.
San Antonio rallied for a pair in the first. Noel (lead-off infield single) crossed when Buschini bounced to short. Medica put his 17th home run of the year over the left-field berm on a 2-2 fastball. The Missions DH collected four hits for the second straight game.
San Antonio starter Juan Oramas (3-2), who struck out the side during the first, soon found himself treading water in the deep end. Corpus Christi loaded the bases with no outs as the left-hander coughed up Domingo Santana's lead-off single and issued consecutive walks to Jonathan Meyer and Erik Castro. Matt Duffy hit into a run-scoring 'round-the-horn double play, but Luis Alavarez' first Double-A bomb, a moon shot to left, gave the Hooks a 3-2 advantage.
Oramas qualified for the win by fanning eight over five innings. He gave up three hits and three walks.
Jake Blackwood's third-inning sacrifice fly plated Buschini (walk) as San Antonio knotted the contest. Yeison Asencio's single then tallied Medica, who'd doubled down the left-field line.
Lee Orr's first Double-A home run - a fourth-frame lead-off shot over the home bullpen - made it 5-3 Missions.
Michael Burgess and Preston Tucker homered for Corpus Christi off Matt Lollis. Tucker's two-run double highlighted a three-run ninth against Jeff Ibarra.
Monday has a special 4:05 Labor Day start time. All fans pick up a 2014 Hooks Magnetic Schedule from CPL Retail Energy. Ruben Alaniz (8-9) goes for Corpus Christi against Donn Roach (8-12).