CORPUS CHRISTI (CC Hooks) - Corpus Christi rode a four-run, four-hit fifth to an 8-2 triumph over Northwest Arkansas Wednesday night at Whataburger Field before 4,481.
Run-producing doubles from Domingo Santana and Erik Castro highlighted the frame and Max Stassi chipped in with an RBI single. Castro's two-bagger was his ninth hit in 10 at-bats. He finished with three hits, as did Naturals catcher Manny Pina.
The Hooks' high tide sent Yordano Ventura (3-2) to the showers. Ventura permitted single runs in the second, third and fourth.
His counterpart, Jake Buchanan (5-0), worked five complete innings and booked an unearned run, seven hits, a walk and three strikeouts. Thirty-five of his 57 pitches were strikes.
Buchanan has not allowed a run over his last six appearances and 27 2/3 innings. His league-leading ERA sits at 0.83.
In closing, Carlos Quevedo tossed two scoreless innings for Corpus Christi.
Northwest Arkansas (14-29) pushed across a run in the first as Orlando Calixte scored on Mitch Canham's ground out. Calixte laced a one-out double to left and advanced to third via a passed ball. After drawing a free pass, Carlo Testa's stolen base kept the Naturals out of an inning-ending double play.
Testa then robbed George Springer of a solo home run, snagging the ball above the left-field fence.
Northwest Arkansas threatened again during its second turn but came up dry. Manny Pina, Angel Franco and Alex McClure singled consecutively, but Pina was gunned at the plate by right fielder Santana and Buchanan fanned Brett Eibner with two on and two gone.
The Hooks (26-19) excelled defensively, turning double plays in the third, fourth and seventh.
Ventura walked Santana to begin the home second and paid for the mistake when Michael Burgess' single knotted the score. Santana progressed around the diamond on Castro's single and a balk call.
The Hooks took a 2-1 advantage an inning later, Castro's two-out Texas Leaguer to left plating Springer (single/passed ball).
Burgess' fourth home run traveled 406 feet - carrying over the wall just left of the batter's eye - and gave Corpus Christi a 3-1 lead through four.
Jonathan Meyer's seventh-inning sacrifice liner to center tallied Corpus Christi's final run.
Hooks catcher Rene Garcia extended his hitting streak to nine games. Stassi has an eight-gamer.
Bobby Doran (5-1) toes the rubber for Corpus Christi Thursday at 7:05 against Brooks Pounders (1-1). The first 2,500 fans take home a Nolan Ryan Garden Gnome from CPL Retail Energy. It's also Thirsty Thursday, with discounted beer and soda from Stripes.
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