• September 15, 2019

TEXAS LEAGUE BASEBALL: Friedrichs' strong start lifts RockHounds towards fifth straight win - Odessa American: Sports

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TEXAS LEAGUE BASEBALL: Friedrichs' strong start lifts RockHounds towards fifth straight win

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Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 10:12 pm

MIDLAND Coming off a four-game road sweep on the road in Frisco, the Midland RockHounds were looking to keep their strong play going in the first home game since the All-Star Break.

The RockHounds got exactly that. 

Kyle Friedrichs pitched eight-plus innings and got a three-run first inning boost as Midland defeated Amarillo 5-1 on a breezy evening Monday at Security Bank Ballpark to record the team’s fifth straight win.

“To come back off the road and get a kick start like we did was great,” RockHounds manager Scott Steinmann said. “To score three runs right away helped and Kyle did an amazing job putting up zero after zero up there. He was just pitching excellent all night long.” 

Friedrichs (3-3) finished his night giving up one run on four hits on 92 pitches with 70 of them going for strikes. 

He made it to the start of the ninth inning before giving up a leadoff single to Taylor Kohlwey. Steinmann replaced Freidrichs with left-hander Zack Erwin, who forced a double play and a lineout to end the game.

“I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes and mixed them up really well,” Friedrichs said. “If I got behind, I could throw a pitch for a strike and get myself back in it. 

“Collin Theroux called a great game behind the plate and it was great to get those three runs early.

After retiring Amarillo in order to start the game, it didn’t take long for Midland to get going. 

Dairon Blanco and Mikey White singled and Tyler Ramirez doubled on the first three pitches off of Amarillo starter Emmanuel Ramirez (6-5) in the bottom of the first inning to open up an early 1-0 lead.

Ramirez pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and recording four strikeouts.

Chase Calabuig, who went 2-for-3 with a run scored, reached on a bloop single two batters later but White was thrown out at home trying to score from third base.

Two pitches later, however, Edwin Diaz drove in two runs with a double that came inches away from clearing the left field fence to build an early 3-0 cushion. 

“When I saw Dairon hit a first pitch slider and Mikey hit another heater, I just went up to bat trying to hit the first pitch,” said Ramirez, who went 2-for-3, “It worked out for us and it was pretty fun looking at the dugout after that happened.” 

Freidrichs retired the first seven Amarillo batters before Brad Zunica lined a double to right-center field in the third inning. But the right-hander forced a groundout and pop out from the next two batters to end the threat. 

Midland got another run in the bottom of the fifth off of a Tyler Ramirez double that scored Blanco, who reached with a one-out single and stole second base.

The lone run from Amarillo came in the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run to left from Edward Olivares. 

But the RockHounds capped off the scoring with one more run in the bottom of the frame when Calabuig was walked with the bases loaded off Amarillo reliever Michel Baez.

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