06/03/2016 10:29 PM
JOPLIN, Missouri - The AirHogs dropped their 1st in a 3-game set at Joe Becker Stadium Friday, falling to the Joplin Blasters by a final of 5-1. RF Nick Akins went deep for the 2nd straight game.
The team got off to a good start in the top of the 1st against Joplin righty Keith Picht. Michael Hur and Juan Sanchez boarded with back-to-back singles but became the 1st of 12 stranded base runners in the game for the team.
After a 1-2-3 bottom of the 1st, the Blasters got to AirHog starter Matt Shepherd for 2 walks, 2 hit-by-pitches and 2 hits in the bottom of the 2nd to establish a 2-0 lead. They would add 2 more in the bottom of the 3rd on a 2-run home run by 1B Charlie Valerio.
The AirHogs stranded the bases loaded in the 4th and 5th but Akins finally helped the team break through in the 7th with a solo home run off Joplin reliever Jose Ortega. The blast was Akins' 2nd in the last 2 nights. Both his home runs have come to lead off the 7th.
But the right fielder's shot to right center proved to be too little too late. The AirHogs failed to mount much in the final 2 innings vs. closer Victor Capellan and fell 5-1. Matt Parish, who finished the 4th and pitched the entire 5th as the first reliever for Joplin, picked up his 2nd win. Shepherd took his 2nd overall loss and his 1st for the AirHogs since being acquired from Lincoln.
Texas (6-9) and Joplin (6-9) meet again tomorrow at 6:35. RHP Cody Hebner is expected to start for the AirHogs vs. RHP Josh Hodges for the Blasters.
A live radio broadcast will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs.