MIDLAND Kyle Friedrichs struck out 10 over six shutout innings and Luis Barrera homered and made a key defensive play Saturday as the Midland RockHounds repeatedly thwarted Arkansas scoring threats to beat the Travelers 3-1 in Texas League action at Security Bank Ballpark.
Five of Midland’s eight hits came in a three-run first. Friedrichs and two relievers made it hold up as the RockHounds remained tied with Corpus Christi for first place in the South Division.
Friedrichs (2-3) scattered eight hits and a walk in keeping Arkansas off the board. In the first, Luis Liberato led off with a doubled, but was thrown out at the plate by Barrera attempting to score on Kyle Lewis’ single.
Barrera the led off the bottom of the first with his fourth home run to put the RockHounds ahead to stay. Luke Persico and Chase Calabuig followed with singles and Tyler Ramirez capped the inning with a two-run double.
Calabuig finished 2 for 4 for the RockHounds. Evan White was 3 for 5 for Arkansas, while Lewis, Dom Thompson-Williams and Jordan Cowan all went 2 for 4.
Arkansas starter Darren McCaughan (6-4) settled down after the first to go six innings, allowing just three more hits. He struck out four.
Friedrichs worked out of a two-on, one out jam in the second, then avoided trouble after giving up a one-out single to Jordan in the third, a leadoff double to Dom Thompson-Williams in the fourth and a leadoff single in the fifth to Cowan, who was then caught stealing. After a Thomspon-Williams single, Friedrichs got out of the sixth when Nick Zammarelli hit into a double play.
Arkansas’ run came in the eighth when White led off with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. The Travelers loaded the bases before Midland got out of the inning.
John Gorman got the final four outs for his fifth save, working around a hit and a walk in the ninth. Arkansas had the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run at the plate, but Gorman got Logan Taylor to ground out to end it.
The teams wrap up the four-game series at 2 p.m. Sunday before taking three days off for the Texas League All-Star Game.