Matt Whatley’s two home runs to help Riders in comeback win

Heath 6 Min Read

Frisco turned to right-hander Zak Kent (0-1, 5.82) for his first Saturday start of the season, as the RoughRiders welcomed fans to MARVEL Defenders of the Diamond night with special-themed jerseys. San Antonio sent RHP Lake Bachar (0-0, 1.29 ERA) to the mound for just his third appearance since joining the Missions roster on May 15th. Matt Whatley hit two home runs at the plate to help the RoughRiders complete their comeback win.

We’ve been used to Saturdays being Leiter-day but the Rangers have recently gone down to a 5-man rotation for the RoughRiders, so their days won’t be one particular day anymore.

There was a nice sized crowd of 7,031 fans as there typically is on Saturdays. This was the 3rd highest attended game this season.

Right-hander Zak Kent (0-1, 5.82) didn’t factor into the win. He was tagged for six runs on ten hits, one walk and five strikeouts. I personally don’t think he was as bad as the line shows. He mixed speeds well hitting up to 97 mph on the fastball and he ranged from 92-97 on it and hit as low as 78 mph on his offspeed.

Out of the pen

Seth Nordlin (3.49) replaced Kent in the top of the 6th. He allowed a single but struckout the next two batters swinging.

Jose Leclerc (1-0, 3.86) came out of the pen for the RoughRiders in the top of the 6th for the final out. He hit 95 mph on the fastball.

Did you know a pitcher or batter on a major league rehab assignment is not subject to the pitch clock in the Minors? Now you do.

Tai Tiedemann (5.11) pitched the final two innings giving up only one hit and striking out a batter to earn his 1st save of the season.

At the plate

The RoughRiders line-up scored 10 runs on 12 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. The RoughRiders found the scoreboard first in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Matt Whatley hit a ball 377 feet to left-field on the 1st pitch he saw. A two-run home run to give Riders lead 2-0 advantage at the time.The Missions didn’t let the RoughRiders enjoy the lead as they tied it up in the top of the 3rd from an RBI single from Connor Hollis and Juan Fernandez.

JP Martinez broke the tie in the bottom of the 3rd inning with his 7th home run of the season. It went 365 feet to left field. The Riders led 3-2 at the time.

Once again, the RoughRiders lead was short-lived. The Missions busted out for three runs in the top of the 4th inning from a solo home run off the bat of Yorman Rodriguez and then a two-run shot of the bat of Esteury Ruiz for his 7th of the season. The Missions led 5-3.

They added a run in the top of 5th as well from a sac-fly by Yorman Rodriguez. The Missions led 6-3.

The RoughRiders got a run back in the bottom of the 6th when Ezequiel Duran grounded into a double-play, scoring JP Martinez. It was 6-4 Missions.

The RoughRiders broke the game open in the bottom of the 7th. Sandro Fabian got the scoring started with his 5th home run of the season. A solo shot that went 415 feet to left center field. A wild pitch scored Kellen Strahm and advanced Jonathan Ornelas to 3rd and JP Martinez to 2nd. Blaine Crim did his thing and hit a two-run double to break the tie.

Ezequiel Duran, who is a doubles machine, then hit his 19th double of the season to score Crim. The RoughRiders led 9-6.

Matt Whatley hit his 2nd of the game in the bottom of the 8th just to add an insurance run. It traveled 394 to left field. This is Whatley’s 2nd career multi-HR game.

The RoughRiders won by a final of 10-6. Jose Leclerc was credited with the win while Tai Tiedemann picked up his first save of the season

With this win the RoughRiders move to 24-20 on the season and move back into 1st place in the Texas League South Division. With a win on Sunday afternoon, they will split this series.

Kellen Strahm led the RoughRiders with 3 hits. He went 3-for-4 with a run. Matt Whatley hit his two home runs and Blaine Crim had a two,hit game as well.

What’s next?

The Frisco RoughRiders will send RHP Justin Slatin (0-2, 4,57) to the mound Sunday. The Missions will send LHP Jason Blanchard (0-0, 0.00) to the mound.

First pitch is set for 4:05 PM Central.


Covering the Texas Rangers farm system since 2019. Credentialed media with the Frisco RoughRiders.

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By Heath
I'm married with 2 boys. I love spending time with family and I recently started collecting baseball cards again. My wife gets annoyed with my baseball addiction.