Throughout the first four innings, the score remained tied at 0-0. Cory Luebke found his rhythm after a rough first, retiring nine batters in a row by the end of the fourth inning. Both teams made good contact, but good defense and strong pitching resulted in short innings and no runs.
“I started out shaky in the first,” Luebke said. “I found a good rhythm and pitch by pitch I really started feeling it. I stuck to my fastball and it was working for me tonight.”
Luebke ended up yielding just one hit over six innings while walking three, lowering his ERA for the year from 1.46 to 0.98.
A spark of offense came from the Missions in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Collins slammed a line drive into center field, and after a failed diving attempt by Daryl Jones, Collins rounded the bases for a stand up triple. Yefri Carvajal chopped a high flying blooper over the second baseman’s head scoring Collins and the first run of the night for the Missions.
“I was very excited to get called up for today’s game,” said Carvajal. “The pitcher gave me a changeup pitch away and I connected with it.”
Hitting continued for the Missions in the bottom of the seventh, as Cedric Hunter popped a high fly ball over left fielder Adron Chambers, scoring Mitch Canham and Andy Parrino andextending the Missions lead to 3-0. Both teams made pitching changes at the top of the seventh which lead to a scoreless inning.
Craig Italiano came in to close the game out in the ninth attempting to earn the third shutout in the last six games at Wolff stadium. A strong defensive stand in the ninth by the Missions got them a win at home and the desired shutout. With this win, the Missions have won five of their last six series. The Missions start the next series at Frisco facing the number one ranked Rough Riders.
“Frisco is definitely the series of the half,” said Dascenzo. “Winning this series gives us a lot of confidence going into Frisco. The more games you win, the better the moral will be throughout the team.”