Sports - Hooks

Apr 24, 2014 12:11 AM by

Hooks Fall to Hounds 3-1

CORPUS CHRISTI - Chris Jensen allowed one run and three hits over 7 2/3 innings as Midland bested Corpus Christi 3-1 Wednesday at Whataburger Field before 4,449.

The Hooks, who fell for the first time in four games, dropped to 11-8. Midland is 11-7.

Jensen (2-0) walked four and struck out four in a 93-pitch effort. He was lifted for Frank Gailey in the wake of Nolan Fontana's run-scoring double.

Gailey, seeking his first save, completed the eighth but consecutive one-out singles from Matt Duffy and Leo Heras and Joe Sclafani's sharp line out to center prompted Midland manger Aaron Nieckula to summon Murphy Smith from the bullpen. The big right-hander induced a ground out to short by Rene Garcia for the save.

Jefry Marte began the fifth by driving a 2-1 pitch into the Hooks bullpen for his second home run and a 1-0 RockHounds advantage. It was just the third hit allowed by Luis Cruz (2-2).

Cruz, whose pitch count by inning was 10-13-8-9-22-15 (77), logged six complete frames, four hits and three strikeouts. Fifty-one of his pitches found the strike zone.

Midland doubled its lead on Miles Head's two-out RBI double off Ruben Alaniz in the seventh, which scored Dusty Coleman (lead-off walk). Alaniz was victimized for another score the next inning, Billy Burns' lead-off single and stolen base translating into a third run when Max Muncy lifted a sacrifice fly to right.

Both clubs had early opportunities.

In the first, Jensen worked around walks to Chris Epps and Preston Tucker. Both pilfered a base only to get left at third and second, respectively, when Duffy fanned for the final out.

Cruz zipped through the first in just over three minutes, but Midland brewed trouble in the second as he struck lead-off man Muncy with an 0-1 fastball. Coleman then singled, but Marte bounced into a 1-4-3 double play before Blake Forsythe took a called third strike.

Heras and Sclafani singled to open the home half, but the RockHounds turned a 4-6-3 twin-killing of their own off the bat of Garcia.

From there, Jensen settled in until the eighth, facing the minimum over four of five innings.

Hooks southpaw Tommy Shirley (1-2) draws Thursday's pitching assignment against Andrew Werner (0-1) in the series finale. The first 2,000 fans take home a Hooks Fleece Poncho from ValueBank Texas. It's also Thirsty Thursday, with discounted beer and soda from Stripes.

Corpus Christi entertains Frisco Friday-Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.



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