Frisco blanks Corpus Christi, takes 1st half title

FRISCO, TX -- The RoughRiders scored early and often as they posted a pair of runs in each of the first four frames. Steve Murphy’s three run triple pushed home a pair of runs in the first to give the ‘Riders an early 2-0 advantage. A Craig Gentry sacrifice bunt and Elvis Andrus single in the second extended the lead to 4-0.

RBI hits by Casey Benjamin and Corey Ragsdale in the third added a pair of runs to the ‘Riders lead a made the score 6-0. Ben Harrison’s RBI double pushed the lead to 7-0 and an error later in the inning made the score 8-0.

The RoughRiders erupted for seven more runs in the seventh inning to stretch its lead to 15-0.

Michael Ballard (5-3) shut out the Hooks over seven innings while allowing just four hits and striking five. Ben Harrison led the way offensively going 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Benjamin also had three hits and five other ‘Riders had multiple hits.

The 2008 season marks the second straight first half title for the RoughRiders and the third time the team has won the first half title since the inaugural season in 2003. The RoughRiders’ current record of 40-25 is second in all of Double-A baseball trailing only the Trenton Thunder who stand at 41-23.

The Texas League playoffs will begin Wednesday, September 3 with the RoughRiders hosting the first two games in the best-of-five series. Game one will be played on Wednesday, September 3 while game two will be played Thursday, September 4. The RoughRiders’ opponent will be the second half winner or in the event the RoughRiders win the first half, the team with the second best overall record.

The RoughRiders continue their homestand Friday night at 7 p.m. when Thomas Diamond (1-1, 6.88) takes the hill for Frisco against Corpus Christi’s Brad James (5-4, 3.70).