EDINBURG, TX - As the Prairie Dogs shook hands on the field at Edinburg Stadium on Wendesday night they were able to taste revenge. Just like he did on Tuesday, Todd Weldon entered the ballgame in a save situation, and just like he did on Tuesday, the righty faced three McAllen Thunder hitters in the bottom of the ninth. However, on Wednesday night Weldon retired all three batters he faced and Bryan Fogle atoned for his game-changing error on Tuesday by hauling in the final out of tonight's game in Edinburg, a 6-4 Abilene victory.
The Prairie Dogs racked up all of their offensive production in innings two through six. Wilson Batista doubled and scored in the second on Eddie Browne's groundout and Jason Martin singled home Fogle who picked up a base hit earlier in the frame. The Dogs leapt right back on the lumber in the third inning when Levi Tapia collected his second R.B.I. in as many games in an Abilene uniform on a groundout to third, scoring Joe Weik.
In the fourth, Abilene tacked on two more runs with the combination of Reggie Williams' sacrifice fly to right-field and Kyle Nichols R.B.I. single. Williams capped off the visitors scoring with an R.B.I. double into the left-centerfield gap to score Browne in the sixth - the gap shot was the first double of the season for Williams.
Brian Smith pitched off the same Edinburg mound on the third night of the season and was masterful in seven shutout innings against the Roadrunners. On Wednesday night against McAllen, the left-hander was almost as good. Smith breezed through the first pair of innings allowing just a single base hit, but he found some trouble in the third. Thunder catcher Matt Redding singled to begin the inning and moved to second when Mike Demperio walked - it was the only base-on-balls distributed by Smith. The next batter, Craig Hertler, dropped down a sacrifice bunt. With one out in the third and two men in scoring position, Michael Lewis appeared to knock in Matt Redding on a sacrifice fly to centerfield. However, the Prairie Dogs contested that Redding left third base too early and home plate umpire Fernando De La Garza agreed, the call ended the inning.
Smith gave up only two runs and both came in the sixth inning when he allowed four hits including an R.B.I. single to Antoin Gray.
With a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Ben Tootle made his first appearance out of the bullpen for the Prairie Dogs - he made two starts over the first two weeks of the season. Tootle walked the first man he faced, allowed a double to Demperio, and gave up a run on consecutive plays as Hertler collected a sacrifice fly and Lewis gathered an R.B.I. groundout to cut the lead in half, 6-4.
Scott Vander Weg pitched a scoreless eighth and set up the save situation for Weldon in the ninth.
The McAllen bullpen did their part on Wednesday to keep the Thunder in the game. After starter Quinn Bright lasted 5.1 innings, allowing all six runs on nine hits, Sean Keeler and Kurk Houck combined to toss 3.1 hitless innings to give the home team a chance in the late innings.
The four game series continues on Thursday night in Edinburgh. The pre-game show begins at 6:55 on 106.9 KLGD.