09/04/2016 12:51 AM
AMARILLO, Texas - The AirHogs and Explorers split a twinbill Saturday at historic Potter County Memorial Stadium. The AirHogs took Game 1 2-1 before the Central-leading Explorers salvaged the split with an 11-4 Game 2 victory.
Griffin Russell gave the AirHogs 6 solid innings of 1-run ball in notching a win for a 3rd straight outing. The lefty surpassed 100 innings for the year, working around a 1-run 3rd inning run to beat the 2nd-ranked offense in the American Association. The start was the first of the year by Russell vs. the Explorers.
Trey Masek earned his 1st save of the season by protecting a 1-run advantage in the 7th and final frame. The AirHogs sealed the victory when catcher Mike Miller caught Bryan Johns stealing 2nd. The caught stealing was one of two in the game for Miller.
The AirHogs tagged 11-game winner Cody Forsythe for single tallies in the 3rd and 4th to overcome the early 1-run deficit. Nick Akins blasted off vs. Forsythe for a solo home run in the 3rd, and Cory Morales added an RBI base hit to score Leon Byrd in the 4th. The home run was the 6th of the season for Akins.
The Explorers tagged AirHogs starter David Wayne Russo for 5 runs (4 earned) in Game 2, but the AirHogs bats kept it close thanks to early-frame RBIs by Michael Hur and Devon Rodriguez. Akins scored in the bottom of the 6th on a wild pitch to bring the AirHogs to within 5-3.
But the comeback was not to be. The Explorers tagged Cody Culp and Tyler Ihrig for 6 runs in the top of the 7th to ensure a win and a 1-game lead on both Lincoln and Gary in a tightly-contested Central Division.
The AirHogs (34-63) and the Explorers (52-46) continue the series tomorrow at 2:05. RHP Diego Ibarra is expected to start for the AirHogs.
A live radio broadcast will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs.