Missions fall 5-4 to Frisco

San Antonio, TX-- A sparse crowd of 1,541 waited for a promised torrential downpour that threatened to call off the game. Unfortunately for the Missions and starting pitcher Jose Oyervidez, the downpour began not from the sky but with Roughriders' catcher Kevin Richardson's bat when he crushed an Oyervidez hanging breaking ball over the left field wall for a three-run homer to put Frisco ahead.

The next inning, Roughrider shortstop German Duran hit one even further over the centerfield wall, again with two outs in the inning, which was enough to put the team over the top for a 5-4 win.

The Roughriders scored all of their runs with two outs in the inning.

"We played great defense, made a few mistakes and just came up a little light," said Missions manager Randy Ready.

The Missions opened the scoring in the bottom first when centerfielder Mike Sansoe grinded out a tough infield single and advanced to second on left fielder's Will Venable's fielder's choice. First baseman Michael Johnson, who had been in a bit of a slump, then lined a hard single up the middle to score Sansoe.

Third baseman Chase Headley followed Johnson with a double down the left field line, but Johnson was not only unable to score but missed out on an opportunity to punish the catcher at the plate as Frisco's Kevin Richardson wisely swiped Johnson in passing and then got out of the way as fast as he could to avoid the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Johnson barreling down the line.

Johnson continued his hot hitting when he smoked a rising line drive over the right field fence, which was again followed by Headley's second double of the game. Second baseman Sean Kazmar, who came into the game hitting .230 but is second on the team in RBIs, drove home Headley with a single up the middle to give the Missions a 3-0 lead.

Oyervidez, at this point, was pitching a solid game, mixing a good fastball and slider with a quality change, until the sixth inning when after allowing two singles; Richardson crushed a hanging breaking ball with two strikes and two outs in the inning.

The Missions had another chance in the bottom of the seventh with Sansoe on and no outs, when one of the stranger plays in baseball occurred. Designated hitter Peter Ciofrone flipped his bat for what most thought was a low ball four; unfortunately the umpire didn't see it that way and called strike two.

With a full count, Ciofrone then swung and missed at what would have been ball four as Sansoe attempted to steal second. The ball bounced off of Ciofrone's bat in its follow through which resulted in Sansoe being called out at second for batter interference for a double play.

"The pitch was so far down I didn't think it was even close, so I flipped the bat and started to go down to first base," said Ciofrone. "I told the ump that I thought it was down and then swung at a bad pitch to strike out.

"It was a big play in the game. If it's ball four, then its two on with nobody out. I didn't like the call, but I didn't like my swing on that last pitch even more."

Johnson led off the eighth inning with his third hit of the game, a double down the right field line, but was stranded with two consecutive strikeouts and left when right fielder Drew Macias tapped out to the pitcher.

Tomorrow Cesar Ramos takes the mound for the Missions in an early 11:00 AM game.

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