Sep 2, 2013 11:51 PM by Corpus Christi Hooks
CORPUS CHRISTI - Domingo Santana homered twice and drove in four runs as Corpus Christi defeated San Antonio 7-6 Labor Day afternoon at Whataburger Field before 6,006.
The Hooks, who finished a game ahead of the Missions in Texas League South second-half action at 41-29, secured home-field advantage in the best-of-five Division Series, which begins here Wednesday. That means a Game 5 - if necessary - would be played at Whataburger Field Sunday night after two games in Corpus Christi and two in the Alamo City.
Corpus Christi has captured three straight TL South halves.
San Antonio began the ninth down 7-4 but pushed two runs across on just one hit as third baseman Jiovanni Mier committed an error and Rico Noel (RBI) scored on a wild pitch. Mier's backhanded stop of a sharp two-hop grounder and off-balance throw to first baseman Erik Castro nipped Adam Buschini for the final out.
Jonas Dufek, called on to replace Alex Sogard after a lead-off walk to Austin Hedges, navigated the tumultuous ninth to earn his fourth save. Sogard was charged with an unearned run, walked one and struck out two over 2 2/3.
San Antonio used four hits and two fielding miscues in building a 3-0 first-inning lead. Jake Blackwood's hustling RBI triple off the glove of Santana in right field and Yeison Asencio's run-scoring single were key. Santana dropped a fly and third baseman Jonathan Meyer failed to find the handle on a backhand play.
The Hooks pulled to within a run in the third. Drew Muren's one-out double preceded an RBI single from Luis Alvarez. Enrique Hernandez later pushed Alvarez home on a deep sac fly to left.
Santana's 24th home run of 2013 - a lead-off bomb beyond the left-field berm - created a fourth-inning stalemate.
That was just a portent of things to come as Santana belted a three-run bomb off Ryan Kelly (1-2) the next inning. All of Corpus Christi's damage came with two away; Ronny Torreyes, Hernandez and Preston Tucker (RBI) singled consecutively in advance of Santana's 25th, which pushed the Hooks ahead 7-3.
Hooks starter Ruben Alaniz (9-9), who surrendered a sixth-inning lead-off homer to Blackwood, lasted through 5 1/3 innings, seven hits, one earned run, a walk and three strikeouts. The La Grulla native threw 86 pitches (59 strikes).
Torreyes completed the regular season with an 11-game hitting streak.
Wednesday's first pitch is 7:05 as Hooks fireballer Mike Foltynewicz (5-3) faces Matt Wisler (8-5).
Tulsa and Arkansas square off in the North Division Series.