By Pat Turner
Frisco has been a pain in the Missions’ side for quite some time.
Frisco dug the thorn deeper Wednesday as the RoughRiders used a three-run burst in the eighth inning to rally to an 8-6 come-from-behind victory at Wolff Stadium.
Frisco, which has a nine-game winning streak over the Missions dating back to the final series of the 2015 season, collected 11 hits, but the RoughRiders also benefitted from four San Antonio errors to overcome a 6-4 deficit.
Schulz gave the Missions a ray of hope with swing of the bat in erasing a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Mike Olt and Auston Bousfield walked, before Schulz unloaded a three-run home run over the left field fence for a 5-3 advantage.
“I was trying to help us do something to win,” Schulz said. “It was a team effort in that inning. We got the two walks and I got a good pitch to hit.”
The Missions extended their lead in the fifth when Jose Rondon slapped a double to left and scored on Olt’s single. However, it wasn’t enough.
Frisco cut into the Missions’ 6-3 lead with two runs in the sixth. Joe Jackson and Zach Cone slugged back-to-back doubles for the first tally of the inning.
After Alberto Triunfel sent Cone to third with a sacrifice bunt, Kellin Deglan grounded to first. Olt tried to nail Cone at the plate, but the Frisco baserunner beat the throw. Following a fly out, an error by reliever Kyle Bartsch kept the RoughRiders’ rally alive.
Eric Yardley took over the pitching and ended the inning with a strikeout to preserve the 6-5 lead.
The nightmare in the eighth followed.
With one out, Deglan singled off Yardley and the Missions’ fourth error of the game put Isiah Kiner-Falefa on base.
Adam Cimber took over the pitching and was greeted by Garrett Weber’s single. As Deglan sprinted home, left fielder Nick Torres fired a bullet to Ryan Miller and appeared to have assisted in an out at the plate. Umpire Derek Eaton said the runner avoided the tag.
A wild pitch brought another runner to the plate and Ronald Guzman added a run-scoring double.
Although the Missions had a tough ending, the beginning was a little rough as well.
For the second night in a row, Frisco took advantage of a Missions’ starter’s rough start to get an early lead.
Kiner-Falefa was hit by Johnny Hellweg, moved to second on a wild pitch, before coming home on Ryan Cordell’s single to center. Catcher’s interference put Guzman at first and Alex Burg followed with an RBI double.
The RoughRiders had a chance to pad the lead but Hellweg helped his case when he speared Joe Jackson’s liner and zipped a throw to second to double off Alex Burg.
The Missions shrugged off the deficit with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Nelson Ward began the frame with a single to right, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Taylor Lindsey’s single. Torres tied the game with a run-scoring single, but Frisco pitcher Reed Garrett picked him at first to halt San Antonio’s rally.
Frisco moved back in front in the third by using an error and single from Guzman to set up Cone’s run-scoring hit.
Although it was another frustrating day at the park, the Missions remain optimistic about a turnaround.
“We have to find ways to win games,” Schulze said. “We’re seeing good things. We have a great attitude. We have to forget the losses and come back the next day ready to play. It’s a long season. We can press now. We have 114 games to go.”