The Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate to the Texas Rangers, are currently in last place in the Texas League. In fact, their 23-30 record is the worst in the entire Texas League. That may change today, as the RoughRiders will take on the Arkansas Travelers in a double-header. The Travelers, affiliate to the Seattle Mariners, are just ahead of Frisco in the standings, at 24-28.
The two clubs were scheduled to meet yesterday, but pouring rain caused the game to be postponed. Today, the two teams will place back-to-back. With two seven inning games ahead, both clubs are fighting to get out, or stay out, of last place.
The RoughRiders last game didn’t go well. The club lost 6-5 to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, in the series finale. Pedro Payano, in his Double-A debut with Frisco, tossed a solid game. However, it was all for naught, as David Ledbetter gave up a grand slam that put the Naturals ahead for good. Hanser Alberto, in a rehab appearance from the Texas Rangers, had a double. Jose Cardona extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 2-44 with a double and two RBIs.
In the Travelers last matchup, a 7-6 victory allowed the to take the series against the Midland RockHounds. Kyle Petty managed a 3-run double, with two outs, to put the Travelers ahead. The game opened with back-to-back Arkansas home runs, from Chuck Taylor and Dario Pizzano.
Entering today’s double-header, the Travelers have two of the top five hitters for average in the Texas League. Chuck Taylor sits at .380, and Ian Miller is hitting .339. RoughRiders outfielder Jose Cardona is fifth, with a .335 average. As a team, the Travelers are second in the Texas League for batting average, at .272. The RoughRiders sit sixth, hitting .251.
Arkansas players Kyle Waldrop and Tyler Marlette are third and fifth in the Texas League in RBIs, with 40 and 37 respectively. Travelers outfielder Ian Miller leads the league in stolen bases, with 20. For the RoughRiders, Scott Heineman leads the league in triples, with five. He also has 39 runs scored, good for second across the league.
These two teams have the capability of making today’s games exciting. Both will be playing for their chance to avoid leaving today in last place. Who will fight for it the hardest?