MIDLAND The Midland RockHounds had trouble converting on offense and it proved costly in their 7-5 loss in the series finale to the Corpus Christi Hooks Sunday at Momentum Bank Ballpark.
Midland left 13 runners on base as it lost its second straight game after winning the previous seven.
“We’ve been pretty good about it as of late, but today was an off day for us,” RockHounds manager Bobby Crosby said. “We had opportunities; we just didn’t capitalize on them.”
Corpus Christi jumped ahead in the top of the first inning when Norel Gonzalez doubled to left field to drive in Marty Costes.
It took a while for either team to get back on the scoreboard after the quick start from the Hooks.
The RockHounds (17-13 overall) were held off until the bottom of the fourth when Jeremy Eierman tripled with a line drive to center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle McCann to pull even at 1-1.
The top of the fifth inning was productive for Corpus Christi (13-16) as J.J. Matijevic hit a three-run home run that was immediately followed by a solo home run by Gonzalez to put the Hooks back in front at 5-1.
Midland cut into the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run single from Logan Davidson that scored Devin Foyle and Mickey McDonald.
The RockHounds got back within a run in the sixth when Foyle delivered an RBI single of his own.
That was as close as Midland got the rest of the game as Gonzalez drove in two more runs in the seventh inning to give Corpus Christi a 7-4 advantage.
Although the RockHounds scored one more run in the bottom of the seventh, it wasn’t enough as Corpus Christi held on to win its second straight game.
Pitcher Bryce Conley took the loss on the mound for the RockHounds after giving up five runs and six hits in five innings pitched.
Crosby said he thought Conley had an efficient game after recording six strikeouts before Brett Graves came on in relief.
“You’re going to give up homers, it’s going to happen but overall I thought he pitched very well,” Crosby said.
After spending the last two weeks at home, the RockHounds begin a 12-game road trip starting in San Antonio Tuesday against the Missions for a six-game series before heading to Amarillo the following week to face the Sod Poodles.
Crosby wants his team to take the same approach to away games as they do when they are hosting opponents.
The manager knows Midland’s home park plays well to his team’s strengths and added that he believes the team’s pitching and defense will carry over.
“I don’t worry about this team, these guys are grinders, gamers,” he said. “They want to win, they play to win. I don’t see any problem to hustle back on Tuesday.”
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Hooks 7, RockHounds 5
Corpus Christi……… 100 040 200 — 7 7 0
Midland……… 000 121 100 — 5 8 0
Hunter Brown, Felipe Tejada (5), Colin McKee (5), Kyle Serrano (7), Jon Olczak (8) and Manea. Bryce Conley, Brett Graves (6), Zack Erwin (7), Norge Ruiz (9) and Kyle McCann. W — McKee. L — Conley. Sv — Olczak. 2B — Corpus Christi: Norel Gonzalez, Jake Adams. 3B — Midland: Jeremy Eierman. HR — Corpus Christi: J.J. Matijevic, Gonzalez.
Records — Corpus Christi 13-16; Midland 17-13.