Missions nearly give one away

San Antonio, TX: It was a warm and sunny evening at Nelson Wolff Stadium as the Missions took the field trying to deny the Northwest Arkansas Travelers from completing their sweep of the series. Taking the mound for the Missions was left-hander Cory Luebke, who's pitching has been spot on over his past few starts. The Travelers started their Dominican right-hander Eduardo Paulino.

The offense sparked early for the Missions in the bottom of the first. Blake Tekotte hit a line drive to right field for a stand up double. The next batter, Andy Parrino, went yard over the right field fence for a two-run home run. Two innings later, Sawyer Carroll lined a drives to center field, which was deflected by the shortstop's glove, scoring Parrino and Forsythe to extend the Missions lead 4-0.

The Missions defense seemed to be clicking, shutting down the Travelers at the plate and in the field. Cory Luebke had great control with all his pitches and had seven strikeouts by the fourth.

"It's no secret the Travelers are a good hitting team," Luebke said. "I relied on my fastball, but I threw more sliders and changeups to keep them on their toes. You definitely can't fall asleep on this team because they'll make you pay for it."

In the bottom of the fifth inning, with a man on second, Matt Clark launched a high fly ball into right field for a double, bringing in one more run to make the score 5-0.

The Travelers finally got on the board when Paul Orlando hit a high fly ball into center, scoring the man on second and putting two more in scoring position. Brandon Gomes was brought in mid-inning to pitch for the Missions. With men on second and third, Jamie Romak made solid contact with a curveball and brought in two more runs for the Travelers. The next batter, Jeff Howell, found the gap in shallow right field to score one more run making the score 5-4 Missions.

In the top of the ninth, Craig Italiano came in to close the game for the Missions. He game gave up two home runs and blew the save in his last outing. The Travelers loaded the bases with no outs and power hitter Derrick Robinson up to bat. Robinson grounded a ball to the second baseman who was able to relay the ball to home and turned a double play by catching the runner at third for a 4-2-5 double play. The next batter grounded out to second, closing the game out for the Missions who walk away with a 5-4 victory.

"It definitely feels good to win this one," said Missions manager Doug Dascenzo. "We haven't been playing like we should lately and this gives our team a boost of confidence. Our defense started to fall apart, but we keep it together and pulled out a win. We just need to carry over this success and eliminate the number of mistakes."

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