Mark Appel had his fourth outing as a member of the Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks. On this Friday night, the Hooks hosted the Arkansas Travelers. Appel was actually on the hook for a loss prior to a game-winning hit by Telvin Nash in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Appel, the Houston Astros 2013 #1 pick, lowered his ERA for the Hooks to 3.98 during this game. Appel began the game pitching efficiently. Early on he also touched 97 miles per hour with his fastball.
Though the Hooks and Appel escaped the third inning unscathed, the third out of that inning was a little tough. A ten-pitch at-bat to Alex Yarbrough caused Appel to break the 50 pitch mark through just three innings of work.
The lone run for the Arkansas Travelers came in the top of the fifth inning. Kaleb Cowart, a top prospect in the Angels’ system, hit a no-doubter solo shot to get the Travelers a 1-0 lead. Appel would go on to finish his night with 6 innings pitched, 1 base on balls, and 2 two strike outs.
Travelers starting pitcher Tyler DeLoach, a left-hander, stymied the Hooks offense for seven innings. The only hit he allowed was a lead-off single to Colin Moran in the bottom of the second inning. DeLoach was also hung with a no decision for his 7 inning, 1 hit, 2 walk, 9 strikeout performance.
In the bottom of the 9th, Tony Kemp coaxed a lead off walk from the Travelers relief pitcher Kurt Spomer. Teoscar Hernandez laid down a perfect sac bunt to move Kemp into scoring position. Delino DeShields, Jr. took another walk so that the Hooks had runners on first and second with one man out.
Moran came back to the plate and nearly hit into a game-ending double play. However, hustle allowed him to get to first safely while Kemp advanced to third base on the play. With runners at the corners and two men out, Telvin Nash took the fourth pitch of his at-bat to left-center field for the game winning hit.
Jordan Jankowski, working in relief of Appel, earned the win to improve to 4-6 on the season. Jankowski allowed just one hit through his three innings of work. Most impressive was the fact that Jordan struck out 8 of the 10 batters he faced.