The Double-A Midland RockHounds are back in the Texas League Championship Series for the third straight year, and they’re looking for the three-peat after winning it all in 2014 and 2015. They’re facing the same opponent they beat last year, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals), and the Hounds got off to a great start by winning Game 1 on the road.
Here is a closer look at the series.
Midland RockHounds vs. Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals)
League: Double-A Texas League
Best-of-5 Championship Series
RockHounds lead series 1-0
Game 1: RockHounds 5, Naturals 4 (box score)
Game 2: Wed 9/14, 5:05 p.m. at NW Arkansas
Game 3: Fri 9/16, 5:00 p.m. at Midland
Game 4: Sat 9/17, 5:00 p.m. at Midland
Game 5: Sun 9/18, 12:00 p.m. at Midland
Game 2 starters: RHP Corey Walter vs. LHP Eric Skoglund
Game 1 got off to a shaky start, as both teams scored a pair of runs in the first inning and the Naturals held a 3-2 lead after the 2nd. But Midland starter Joel Seddon settled down after that and faced the minimum for the next four frames, giving his lineup a chance to come back. The Hounds took advantage and scratched out a few more runs as the evening went on, and the bullpen held on for the victory.
Once again, the offense was a true team effort. Yairo Munoz delivered the big blow in the 1st, Tyler Marincov knocked in a run in the 3rd, Max Schrock scored in both instances, and several other hitters chipped in for the go-ahead rally in the 6th. The team racked up 11 hits overall.
But the hero of this one has to be Seddon. Despite getting smashed in the first couple innings (multiple line-drive doubles, plus a homer), he did the exact thing you want to see your starter do -- forget it, move on, and get back to the task at hand. Rather than unraveling, he bore down and put up four straight 1-2-3 innings, at least functionally speaking (one baserunner did reach on a fielding error, but he was promptly caught stealing). Reliever Trey Cochran-Gill followed him with two quick, scoreless innings, and org filler Jake Sanchez did just enough to not blow the save in the 9th.
The top prospects (not necessarily the top performers):
Tyler Marincov, OF: 3-for-5, RBI, run
Max Schrock, 2B: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 runs
Yairo Munoz, 3B: 1-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
J.P. Sportman, OF: 1-for-4, RBI
Richie Martin, SS: 0-for-3, BB, error
Joel Seddon, RHP: 6 ip, 3 runs, 6 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HR, 4 hits
Trey Cochran-Gill, RHP: 2 ip, 0 runs, 2 hits