CORPUS CHRISTI (CC Hooks) - Ross Seaton pitched seven strong innings and Jay Fernandez had a
game-winning two-run single as Corpus Christi defeated Midland 4-2
Wednesday before 4,321.
Winners of five straight, the Hooks stand 37-21 in Texas League second-half play, 74-54 overall. Corpus Christi's magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three.
Midland is 24-32 and 59-67. The RockHounds are 3-11 at Whataburger Field this season.
Seaton (7-8) allowed just two runs, five hits and a walk over 104 pitches. He struck out six. His relief, Kevin Chapman, achieved four outs before turning the game over to closer Jason Stoffel (25th save).
Austin Wates' two-base error seemingly put Midland in second-inning business, but a RockHounds surge never materialized. Wates dropped lead-off man Matt Rizzotti's fly in left field and Josh Horton followed by singling. Seaton then righted the ship, getting Jeremy Barfield on a soft liner to short, Beau Taylor on a fly to left and Leonardo Gil with a called third strike.
Seaton was less fortunate an inning later. Conner Crumbliss doubled and Anthony Aliotti popped his 10th home run of 2012 off the right-field foul pole.
Robbie Grossman's sacrifice fly scored Enrique Hernandez (lead-off walk) during the home third, cutting the lead in half.
The Hooks drew even in the fifth, Hernandez' first round-tripper finding the left-field berm.
They rode three singles and a wild pitch while moving up 4-2 the next inning, Fernandez looping a single up the middle to push Jacob Goebbert and Bobby Borchering plateward.
Fernandez' safety prompted Midland manager Steve Scarsone to pull starter Murphy Smith for reliever Paul Smyth.
Smith (6-10) logged 5 2/3 innings, six hits, three walks and five strikeouts. His 98-pitch effort produced 59 strikes.
Aliotti has a 14-game hitting streak.
Rob Rasmussen (4-3) draws the Hooks pitching assignment Thursday at 7:05 against Shawn Haviland (6-8). Stripes presents Thirsty Thursday with discounted beer and soda.