May 2, 2013 12:37 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ben Orloff's walk-off single up the middle scored Domingo Santana from third base and lifted Corpus Christi past Midland 3-2 Wednesday in 11 innings before 5,920 at Whataburger Field.
Orloff entered the contest in the fifth as a defensive replacement for third baseman Jonathan Meyer and later shifted to second. He went on to collect two hits in three at-bats, extending his team-best hitting streak to six games.
Santana drew a walk from Kyler Newby (0-3) to open the home 11th. The Hooks right fielder swiped second and raced to third on a throwing error by catcher Beau Taylor.
Orloff's game winner came on a 2-2 pitch and made a winner of Andrew Robinson (1-1).
Midland (13-13) manufactured the night's first run off Hooks reliever Bobby Doran in the seventh. Dusty Coleman laced a single up the middle, stole second and moved to third on Taylor's bouncer to the right side.
No. 9-hole hitter Darwin Perez then lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
The Hooks quickly evened up. Orloff produced a lead-off single and was sacrificed into scoring position by Enrique Hernandez. Erik Castro doubled into the right-center field gap to make it 1-1.
Ex-Hook Jake Goebbert hit into a bases-loaded double play off Patrick Urckfitz, taking the RockHounds out of an eighth-inning scoring opportunity. The Hooks also executed a ninth-inning twin killing.
Midland moved up 2-1 on Jefry Marte's RBI swinging bunt in the 10th, but the Hooks answered once again, Rene Garcia's two-out single plating Castro (lead-off single).
Both clubs had their chances early.
Corpus Christi (15-11) put together a bases-loaded threat against Zach Neal in the second but was unable to score. Neal allowed singles to J.D. Martinez and Meyer and walked Castro, but caught Jiovanni Mier looking at a called third strike for the final out.
Midland followed the same recipe during the fourth, with hits by Anthony Aliotti and Marte and Coleman's free pass. Nick Tropeano escaped damage when Taylor lined to deep center.
Neal, who struck out seven over seven frames and 110 pitches, was touched for six hits and two walks.
A pitch count of 78 (46 strikes) brought Tropeano's evening to a close after just four innings. The Astros' 2011 fifth-round pick was responsible for two hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
Thursday's pitching matchup features Hooks right-hander David Martinez (2-0) vs. Sean Murphy (0-0).