By Pat Turner
Sunday proved to be a great time for France.
Earlier in the day, France won the FIFA World Cup with a 4-2 win over Croatia.
A few hours later, France also shined in baseball at Wolff Stadium. In this situation, it was Ty France, who helped make the Missions return to Wolff Stadium successful by driving in three runs in a 4-0 victory over Midland.
It was a much-needed turnaround for the Missions, who struggled through a 1-3 showing at Frisco due to a lack of run production.
The Missions still didn’t set the world on fire with their offensive output, collecting five hits. Thanks to France’s contributions, which included a two-run homer, and a combined one-hitter from Lake Bachar, Miguel Diaz and T.J. Weir, the Missions prevailed.
“We need this win,” France said. “It helped us get back on track. It was a good start to the homestand. We need to get something going because we have to go back to Frisco after we finish here.”
France unloaded his homer in the first after Eguy Rosari drew a walk. He joined Rosario for the Missions’ run in the fifth.
“Getting the early lead helped us,” France said. “I wasn’t trying for a home run. I was trying to get something in play. I had a few opportunities in Frisco and didn’t do it. I was able to get something elevated.”
The 18-year-old Rosario added an RBI single in the sixth that was set up by two Midland errors.
Although hits were few, pitching wasn’t overly sharp. Midland’s Brian Howard (0-2), Jarrett Martin totaled six walks. It was more of the same for the Missions, who walked six and hit two batters (both by Bachar).
The difference was the Missions braved through their control problems.
Bachar, who walked three and struck out two, began the escape work by walking the first two batters. Then, a turnaround took place as the Missions starter bounced back with two strikeouts and a groundout
Midland also left two on the second when Richie Martin got the RockHounds’ only hit on a lead-off single, and third innings as the Missions braved through the trouble. During that time San Antonio also left runners stranded.
Diaz (4-3) took over in the fourth and also surrendered three bases on balls, but a double play killed one threat and catcher Webster Rivas erased another runner on a stolen base attempt.
Weir finished off Midland with two strikeouts during a perfect ninth.
“To shut them out after walking six batters and hitting two was huge,” Missions manager Phillip Wellman said. “Lake hasn’t thrown in 12 days. He went out there and competed. He made pitches when he needed to make them. Diaz come and did really well.”