CORPUS CHRISTI (CC Hooks) - Josh Geer permitted two runs and matched a season high with seven strikeouts in six innings as San Antonio eliminated Corpus Christi from the Texas League playoffs with a 5-3 decision Sunday at Whataburger Field.
The Missions captured the South Division series three games to two. They face Arkansas in the best-of-five championship series, which gets under way Tuesday night in the Alamo City.
Leonel Campos achieved the final four outs for his first save of the postseason. He survived a two-on, one-out scare in the ninth, getting Ronny Torreyes to fly to center and Enrique Hernandez on a foul fly to shortstop Jeudy Valdez.
Geer, a former Padres starter (2008-09) who earned Texas League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2007, threw 88 pitches, 62 for strikes. He walked one.
San Antonio solved Hooks starter David Rollins during the first and also benefited from an error by the left-hander. Rico Noel opened with a double and advanced 90 feet as a result of Cory Spangenberg's bunt single up the third-base line. Next came Adam Buschini, who lined an RBI single to right. Two outs later, Spangenberg and Buschini scored when Rollins threw Yeison Asencio's nubber past first baseman Erik Castro.
Spangenberg's two-out double off the left-field wall plated Noel for a 4-0 Missions advantage through two.
San Antonio almost tallied a two-out singleton in the third, but Asencio was retired at home right fielder Domingo Santana to Castro to Ryan McCurdy on Austin Hedges' double.
Rollins (0-1) didn't appear for the fourth, giving way to Carlos Quevedo. The San Jacinto College North product was charged with one earned run, five hits and struck out two.
Quevedo turned in a solid outing. The big Venezuelan right-hander allowed just one base runner over a four-inning span.
The Hooks began their fifth loudly, as Jonathan Meyer and Drew Muren singled. McCurdy's sacrifice bunt moved them up a base and Torreyes produced a two-run single past a diving Valdez near the second-base bag.
San Antonio scored an important two-out insurance run in the eighth off Houston rehabber Edgar Gonzalez, Buschini's lead-off double roosting on a Hedges single up the middle. Corpus Christi answered, Preston Tucker (walk) crossing on Castro's ground out in the wake of Santana's double off Matt Branham.
The Hooks committed an uncharacteristic three errors, one in each of the first three frames. The clubs combined for five miscues, but San Antonio turned two double plays behind Geer in the early going to erase lead-off runners. The TL South champs also booked five doubles.
Santana led all players with three hits.