The Round Rock Hairy Men played like a champion instead of a rookie in their 10-3 victory over the Brazos Valley Bombers on Thursday night at Travis Field.
The Hairy Men banged out 12 hits, five of them that produced runs with two outs, and scored in five different innings to claim their first Texas Collegiate League victory.
The defending champion Bombers had plenty of chances to score but went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. They finished with just six hits a night after having only three in a 6-3 victory in which they took advantage of walks and errors.
The roles reversed Thursday as Bombers pitchers walked five and hit three batters with three of those runners scoring. The Hairy Men hurlers were worse, walking nine and hitting three batters, but they came up with the big pitches as the Bombers stranded 15 runners, 13 of them in the last six innings.
The Hairy Men, one of six new teams in the TCL this season, scored a run in the second inning then took control in a five-run fourth when the Bombers failed to complete an inning-ending double play.
The inning started well for the Bombers as relief pitcher Nick Galese retired the first batter he faced, but Luke Almendarez singled, Ethan Ruiz walked and Esteban Cardoza was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jared McKenzie walked to force in the game’s second run. River Town followed with a grounder to second baseman Adam Bland, but the Bombers were unable to turn their fifth double play of season as first baseman Sean Arnold couldn’t handle a low throw that allowed Town to reach safely and a run to score to give Round Rock a 3-0 lead. Round Rock’s Cole Turney followed with an RBI single. A wild pitch allowed another run to score, and Ryan Hernandez’s RBI double made it 6-0.
Hernandez added a booming home run in the sixth and ended with three hits. Almendarez, Ruiz and Kyle Froemke each had two hits with Froemke making two dandy plays at third base.
The Bombers, who were denied a sweep of the season-opening series, got two hits from Arnold, who played for Rudder.
The Bombers will open a three-game series against the Victoria Generals on Friday night in Victoria.