Wind and Rockhounds blank Missions

Stephen Faris

SAN ANTONIO, TX.: There are some days in Nelson Wolff Stadium when anything short of launching a stinger missile into its vaunted wind is going to stay in the yard; and Sunday was one of those days for the Missions who were held to only four hits, all singles, in a 6-0 defeat to lose the series to Midland three games to one.

Unfortunately for San Antonio Midland was launching rockets with five extra base hits, including left fielder Danny Putham's third home run of the four-game series.

"We just couldn't get any offense going," said Missions' manager Terry Kennedy.

In the fourth inning, the Rockhounds broke the ice when big third baseman Tommy Everidge singled with one out and was brought home with a double by second baseman Yu Chi Chen. Missions' starter Stephen Faris buckled down and struck out the next two batters on seven pitches, featuring a big curve as his out pitch.

The next inning Farris got out of another tough jam with runners on first and second and no outs. He got designated hitter Josh Horton to ground out into a double play and first baseman Chris Carter grounded out to third to end the inning.

"He had a good curveball today, the change was okay and his command was pretty good," said Kennedy. "If he only gives up two each time he throws nearly six innings, we'll take it."

In the top of the sixth, Putnam hit an opposite field home run that landed on the left field wall and bounced over the fence. Farris allowed a pair of back-to-back singles before being replaced by Missions' reliever John Hudgins who got the next batter to ground into a force out at second.

Putnam was the star of the game, and the series, robbing the Missions of two extra base hits to go along with a home run, double and walk for the day.

In the top of the seventh, the Rockhounds put two on with no outs but Missions' second baseman Eric Sogard turned a sharply hit ground ball into a smooth double play and limited the damage to one run.

Reliever Christopher Britton started the eighth and promptly gave up a lead-off double. Chen grounded out to the shortstop, but center fielder Archie Gilbert singled to give the Rockhounds a 4-0 lead. Catcher Gabriel Ortiz led of with a second double of the inning, which put runners on second and third. Right fielder Matt Sultenic got his second hit of the daym driving home two more, which mercifully concluded the Rockhounds' scoring for the contest.

"Our inconsistencies continue, and its youth, its inexperience and that is going to come out in the wash," said Kennedy.

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