It had to happen sooner or later, but did it have to be this painful?
After beating the rival RGV WhiteWings 11 straight times in 2010, the Roadunners ran into a wall, dropping three in a row to their friends from the east to close the weekend.
Sunday was bad, as the team (33-20) lost 15-6. The streak had come to an end Saturday as the ‘Runners dropped a doubleheader, 9-4. In Game One, Tim Haines (4-5) rebounded from a slow start to pitch well, but the Wings turned a 5-4 lead into a laugher with four runs in the seventh despite a pair of two-run homers from designated hitter Alexis Hernandez, who was them tied for the team lead in dingers (eight) with A.C. Concepcion.
Edinburg left nine on base in the loss, and missed a golden chance to tie the game in the fifth when infielder Felix Molina was picked off second base to squander a rally.
The nightcap started well with Edinburg up 3-0 courtesy of Concepcion’s ninth homer and an RBI from the surging Hernandez (.344). But RGV rallied in the fourth to take the lead and hang on for the fine day’s work.
The ‘Runners were to host Coastal Bend through Thursday and then head out for a road trip to San Angelo. Their lead narrowed to 1.5 games over Amarillo and 4.5 over the Colts.
With 35 games left, the club has begun to tinker with the lineup, and the influx of new faces illustrates this. The team made some roster moves over the weekend, releasing infielder Melvin Perez and pitcher Evan Cunningham, and trading outfielder Vincent Blue. Perez drove in eight runs in 26 games while former UTPA hurler Cunningham appeared in four games with a 10.82 ERA. Blue hit .236 with 28 RBI in his second season with the club.
Austin Bridges, a right-handed pitcher who went 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 26 games last season, took Cunningham’s spot; he returned to the Valley from Florence of the Frontier League.
New/old face Eddie Wilson went 1 for 3 Sunday in his first action with the club in some time. The veteran catcher has been spending most of his days running the Valley Baseball University, and he’s learning a lifetime of lessons lately.
“Man, marketing is expensive,” said the Maryland native who relocated to the Valley in 2006 to play for the Coyotes. “I try to as much as I can, hitting the streets to sell and get people interested. Especially now, with a recession on, it’s tough. But we’re doing well.”
Wilson’s enterprise works in tandem with former Econ running back Ryan Richardson; the pair offers training in a myriad of sports at two locations and slowly, they are transforming the way locals look at sports instruction.
“Folks are not used to the idea of total training, and we are changing minds daily with what we do,” he said. “And there have been a couple of business spring up, doing what we do, so that’s competition and it is good for us. Plus, the banks used to tell us no because they didn’t understand what we had, but now that some copycats have come in, it is easier to get financing.”
NOTES: The Roadrunners will host a co-ed baseball clinic for ages 5 through 13 Saturday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stadium prior to the scheduled game with Amarillo. The players will teach the basics and allow the community to interact. Cost will be $30 per participant and include a T-shirt, food and beverage. Plus, campers will get a free general admission ticket to the game that night and get to be on the field with the ‘Runners beforehand. Call 380-4446 for more information.