Hooks Hammer Hounds in Series Finale

Luis Cruz allowed one hit and struck out nine, including seven in a row in the middle innings, to lead the Hooks to a 7-0 win over Midland Monday at Whataburger Field in front of 5,182. The first two hitters in the Corpus Christi order, Delino DeShields and Nolan Fontana, combined to go 6-for-8 with three runs scored and five runs batted in. For DeShields, the three hit performance snapped a 1-for-20 slump.

The Hooks staked Cruz to an early lead on Matt Duffy's first inning, RBI single. It was Duffy's 30th run batted in of the season, tied for the Texas League lead and tops on the team. The home team plated a couple more in the third when Nolan Fontana doubled with the bases loaded to make it 3-0.

Corpus Christi blew the game open against RockHounds' starter Chris Jensen (2-3) in the bottom of the fourth. Joe Sclafani and Jio Mier walked, and Leo Heras singled to load the bases for DeShields, who hit a sharp ground ball at the shortstop Dusty Coleman with infield drawn in. The ball got by Coleman and into left-center field for DeShields' fourth double of the season and extended Corpus Christi's lead to five runs.

Fontana and Andrew Aplin followed DeShields with a base hit and fielder's choice to add two more runs. The Hooks led 7-0 after four frames.

With the seven run lead, Cruz (4-4) dominated. He struck out the final hitter of the fourth inning, Kent Matthes, and proceeded to strike out the side in the fifth and sixth innings. The stretch of seven consecutive punchouts ended when Cruz walked Hiro Nakajima to start the seventh.

The club record for consecutive strikeouts by a pitcher is nine. Xavier Cedeno mowed down the first nine Frisco RoughRiders he faced June 27, 2011. He also set the Hooks high for K's in a game that night with 14, a mark Cruz tied August 26, 2013 at San Antonio.

After the walk to Nakajima, Cruz got Jefry Marte to pop out. Keith Bodie took the ball from Cruz and the 23-year-old left-hander left to a rousing ovation from the crowd. He worked 6 1/3 shutout innings, allowed one hit, walked two and struck out nine.

Jordan Jankowski recorded the game's final eight outs.

The Hooks improved to 3-1 in shutouts this season as Midland suffered its first loss in such contests. Aplin and Sclafani saw six and eight game hitting streaks come to an end, respectively.

The Hooks are off Tuesday and begin a three-game series at Arkansas Wednesday at 7:10 PM. Left-handed pitcher Tommy Shirley (4-2, 1.73) is schedule to come off the disabled list and start for Corpus Christi against fellow southpaw Kramer Sneed (4-3, 3.48).

-Courtesy CCHooks.com


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