Clutch hit propels Missions

Andrew Parrino

San Antonio, TX: It was military appreciation day at Wolff stadium on June 23, 2010 as the Missions took on the Corpus Christi Hooks. Starting the game at pitcher for the Missions was left-hander Cory Luebke who came into the game with a 0.86 ERA and an undefeated record. Corpus Christi had left-hander Douglas Arguello on the mound with a 2.55 ERA.

The Missions made a couple changes to their lineup for the game. Drew Cumberland replaced Jesus Lopez at shortstop. Cumberland had been batting well with a .365 AVG, seven home runs, 65 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 60 games at Lake Elsinore. James Darnell also came in for the Missions to play third base after missing most of the first half of the season with a hand injury.

"Throughout the first half of the season we've played with a broken up team," said Luebke. "Cumberland offers a lot of defense in the infield, and now that Darnell is back we can start getting into a rhythm."

The score remained even through the top of the third inning, until Jack Shuck grounded a ball down the middle which was deflected by Luebke's foot and scored the man on second making the score 1-0 Hooks. The Missions offense was able to make contact with pitches, but could not seem to score a run. In the bottom of the sixth with Cedric Hunter on third and James Darnell up to bat; Arguello threw a pitch wide of the plate that bounced off the glove of the catcher and scored Hunter as an unearned run for the Missions which tied the game at one run a piece.

The Hooks came out in the top of the seventh with an immediate answer for the Missions. Pinch hitting for Arguello was German Duran who hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored Butera. Luebke closed the inning out with the next batter, but not after the Hooks regained the lead. Matt Nevarez came into pitch for the Hooks in the bottom of the eighth and after getting into an early jam with runners on first and third. Luis Martinez hit a hard ground ball in the infield which was mishandled by the shortstop Cabral and allowed Forsythe to come in for the tying run. The Hooks made a pitching change with Nelson Payano relieving Nevarez and Andy Parrino up to bat. Parrino drove a low inside pitch to deep centerfield scoring the go ahead run and closing the game out for the Missions who won the game 3-2.

"We've been playing solid fundamental baseball," said Dascenzo. "We can't make mistakes and be a winning ball club. The Texas League South is a tight group and the only way to stay on top is to consistently play good baseball."

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