Astros Minors: Hooks Dream Season Ends in Midland
By Larry Manch
Astros Double-A Report: Corpus Christi Hooks (Playoffs)
The Corpus Christi Hooks ended one of the best seasons in team history on Saturday night, suffering their third straight playoff loss to Midland. The Hooks sent 19-year-old Francis Martes to the mound hoping to stop the RockHounds and even the series, but the Astros #7 prospect gave up four runs in four innings. It was enough for Midland to take the game, and the series, three games to one.
Three of the four hits off Martes were home runs, one each in the second, third, and fourth innings. Reliever Michael Freeman gave up only two hits in two innings, and Edison Frias allowed just one hit in the final two frames, but the damage had already been done. Corpus batters could not get more than one run off Midland pitchers.
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The Hooks had a scoring chance in the fourth when A.J. Reed hit a one-out single to left field. Jon Kemmer followed with another single to left, as did Jack Mayfield (listed as David Mayfield on Baseball-Reference.com), loading the bases. Conrad Gregor then flied out on what was the fourth consecutive ball hit to left field. Unfortunately, it wasn’t deep enough for Reed to score, and Alfredo Gonzalez grounded to the shortstop, who threw to second to force Mayfield for the third out.
The lone Hooks run came in the seventh when Gonzalez singled and Jiovanni Mier doubled, scoring Gonzalez. Mier went to third on an error, but Leo Heras (Leonardo Heras) struck out to end the threat.Francis Martes
as a River Bandit – Photo by Rich Guill
The Hooks tried again in the eighth, with Teoscar Hernandez and Colin Moran singling on consecutive at-bats. A wild pitch by Midland’s Kris Hall advanced both runners; Jon Kemmer walked, loading the bases again. Brendan McCurry relieved Hall and struck out Mayfield and Gregor to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Gonzalez singled again, but Mier and Heras both struck out, and Hernandez’ ground out was the final at-bat of the season for Corpus Christi.
Although the bats cooled a bit in the playoffs, the Hooks didn’t exactly go quietly. Gonzalez was a hitting star for Corpus during the four-game series, hitting a torrid .750. Gregor followed at .400, with Hernandez’ .333. As a team, the RockHounds batted .317 in the series, with seven home runs, against the Hooks’ .266 and four homers.
Midland will play Northwest Arkansas for the Texas League Championship.
- Major thanks to photographer Tammy Tucker, who provided us with many outstanding action shots of Hooks players throughout the summer.
- Moran, Mier, Devenski, and Gustave were all promoted on September 14 to Triple-A Fresno for the Pacific Coast League finals.
Next: Astros Minors Playoffs: River Bandits drop Game One 5-2