The Midland RockHounds struck for eight runs over the final four frames to defeat Corpus Christi 9-7 Friday at Whataburger Field before 6,154. Kent Matthes' lead-off home run in the eighth inning off Brady Rogers put the visitors ahead to stay at 7-6.
Matthes' blast was a no-doubter down the left-field line and capped a stirring comeback as the RockHounds overcame a four-run deficit, posting six runs off Rodgers in a three-inning span.
They added a pair of ninth-inning insurance runs courtesy of Jefry Marte's single, the last of four one-base hits off Patrick Urckfitz. Marte finished with four RBIs, Miles Head three.
Head's fourth home run of 2014 with Chad Oberacker and Blake Forsythe aboard after consecutive singles knotted the contest at 6 in the seventh. Midland trailed 5-1 through five, struggling vs. Rodgers (1-5) as the right-hander retired the first seven RockHounds he faced in relief of starter David Rollins.
Frank Gailey (1-0), who worked the seventh, picked up the victory. Seth Frankoff earned a two-inning save, his eighth in nine opportunities, despite yielding an RBI single to Joe Sclafani in the ninth.
Midland pushed the night's first run across when center fielder Delino DeShields, Jr., kicked Hiro Nakajima's single. Matthes opened the second by doubling to left and held at third before DeShields' misplay. The RockHounds were positioned to inflict more damage, but Rollins fanned Conner Crumbliss, stranding runners at the corners.
Rollins reached his pitch count over just 2 2/3 innings, four hits and three strikeouts. Thirty-two of his 44 offerings were strikes.
Preston Tucker's two-run bomb over the swimming pool in right field and a two-run single from Andrew Aplin highlighted a five-run Corpus Christi uprising during the third. Midland third baseman Marte committed two errors in the frame; just two of the runs against Drew Granier were earned.
Granier walked the bases loaded an inning later but quelled the threat by capturing Aplin on a called third strike. Leo Heras and DeShields punctuated the rally with a double steal.
Midland pulled to within two in the sixth at 5-3. Lead-off man Billy Burns reached on shortstop Jio Mier's error and scored ahead of Marte, who belted his fourth round-tripper on a full-count over the left-field berm.
Left fielder Matthes picked up DeShields' single and gunned Rene Garcia at the plate to momentarily keep Corpus Christi off the board in the sixth. Aplin's two-out rope plated DeShields, extending the home team lead to 6-3.
Granier toiled for six innings and 98 pitches. He was charged with seven hits and three earned runs. TheLouisianaa-Monroe product walked six and struck out four.
Garcia has hit in nine straight and Sclafani owns a six-game streak.
Matt Heidenreich (1-0) draws the pitching assignment for Corpus Christi Saturday at 7:10 against Shawn Haviland (1-3).