W - Eppley (1-0)
HR - Tracy (1)
Omaha leads 2-1 (best of 5)
While the Texas Rangers' Double-A, High-A and Low-A affiliates all lost their respective playoff games on Friday, the Express stayed alive with a wild game in Omaha.
Round Rock scored five runs in the top of the second. The club led 6-1 through five innings. They lost the lead in the sixth and seventh.
The Express and Storm Chasers then played scoreless ball until the top of the 11th, when Round Rock struck for three more runs. Omaha got two back in the bottom of the frame, but that would be all. Round Rock stayed alive for at least one more day.
Slugging first baseman Chad Tracy was the Express' offensive star, going 3-for-6 with a third-inning grand slam and five total runs batted in. With a whopping five singles in six at-bats, centerfielder Joey Butler wasn't far behind Tracy's lead.
Tracy and Butler combined to drive in all three of their club's runs in the pivotal 11th inning.
Right-hander Neil Ramirez turned in a strong start, working five innings of one-run ball. The 22-year-old yielded two hits, walked two, and struck out five.
Things began to get out of hand when the Round Rock bullpen entered. Lefty Beau Jones allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning during the sixth. Derek Hankins followed by giving up two runs in a frame.
Although lefty Michael Kirkman technically suffered a blown save, he was unscored upon for 2.1 innings.
Matt Kata (2/6, 3B) singled and tripled while Luis Cruz (1/5, 2B) added a two-bagger. Catcher Taylor Teagarden singled once and walked three times.
Both Saturday's contest and the potential fifth game will be played in Omaha. Brett Tomko will toe the rubber for Round Rock on Saturday, going against righty Sean O'Sullivan.
L - Bleier (0-1)
San Antonio leads 2-1 (best of 5)
The RoughRiders and Missions played a constant back-and-forth battle. Frisco tied San Antonio by scoring single runs in the third, fourth, and seven innings. But the Missions got single scores in the eighth and ninth, pulling away for the win.
Left fielder Mitch Hilligoss brought home two of Frisco's runs, as he went 3-for-5 with a double for the game. Leadoff man Renny Osuna had two singles, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI in five trips. Both Hilligoss and Osuna added a stolen base.
Jared Bolden (1/3, BB), Jose Felix (1/4) and Engel Beltre (1/4) had the other hits.
Hilligoss' double was Frisco's only extra-base hit of the night. The offense wasn't able to do quite enough against Padres prospect Casey Kelly and the three Missions relievers.
‘Riders starter Carlos Pimentel needed 80 pitches to complete four innings. He gave up two runs on two hits and four walks.
Relievers Jake Brigham (2.1 IP), Richard Bleier (1.1 IP) and Fabio Castillo (1 IP) permitted one run apiece out of the bullpen. Bleier was stuck with the loss after allowing the game-breaking score in the eighth––Cody Decker's second solo home run of the night.
Frisco will attempt to keep the series alive and send it back to San Antonio on Saturday. Game four will match righty Adalberto Flores against former RoughRiders hurler Robbie Erlin.
L - de los Santos (0-1)
Kinston leads 2-1 (best of 5)
With Friday's loss to the K-Tribe, Myrtle Beach will now need to win two consecutive road games in order to advance to the Carolina League Championship Series.
The Jekyll-and-Hyde version of Miguel de los Santos was on display, as he yielded five runs in five innings. He gave up three hits, walked five, and struck out 10.
De los Santos coughed up all five of the runs in the first two innings, putting his club in an early hole. Then he settled down to retire 10 of the final 11 hitters he faced with six strikeouts.
The damage was already done, though, and the Pelicans were kept off the scoreboard completely.
Jared Prince (1/3, 2B, BB) and Andrew Clark (1/3, 2B, BB) had one double and one walk apiece. Speedy shortstop Leury Garcia added two singles in four at-bats. The trio combined for all four of the Pelicans' base hits.
Third baseman Mike Olt, who was batting fifth, was 0-for-2 with a strikeout and two walks.
Kinston pushed the game further out of reach by plating two runs in two innings against sinkerballing righty Kyle DeVore, the Rangers' 27th-round pick in this year's MLB Draft.
Colby Killian pitched around two hits in a scoreless eighth.
L - Lamb (0-1)
Greensboro wins 2-0 (best of 3)
Hickory's excellent overall season came to an end on Friday evening, as the Crawdads were swept in the best-of-five series by the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Greensboro is the low Single-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins.
Although Hickory lost, it got an excellent start from left-hander Will Lamb on his 21st birthday. The Clemson product allowed only one run (a solo homer) in five innings, giving up four hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Lamb's numbers from the start won't count in his overall stats, but his pro debut was plenty strong. He posted the following line between Spokane and Hickory––55.2 ip, 45 h, 17 er (2.75 ERA), 31 bb, 62 k.
The Crawdads were shut down by 25-year-old Texas Tech product and Rockwall native James Leverton. The lefty, who was recently signed out of independent ball, held Hickory to two hits over seven shutout frames.
For the game, the Crawdads had only one plate appearance with a runner in scoring position––and it came with two outs after Kellin Deglan reached on a bunt single.
Deglan (1/3), Tomas Telis (1/4) and Jake Skole (0/2, BB) were the only Crawdads to reach base.
Righty Francisco Mendoza worked around two hits and two hit batters in 1.1 scoreless innings, striking out two. Florida International product Jorge Marban punched out all three batters he faced in a clean ninth inning.
35-41, 9.0 GB
The Indians finished their regular season in third place in the Northwest League's East Division. The club didn't qualify for the postseason, as they were one game behind Boise for the division's wild card spot.
38-18, 13.0 GU
For the second consecutive season, the rookie-level Surprise Rangers won the Arizona League's West Division title but fell in the league's semifinal game.
41-30, 5.5 GB
The Dominican Rangers failed to qualify for the Dominican Summer League playoffs despite posting a strong 41-30 record. The club finished in second place, 5.5 games behind the DSL Cubs2.
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