Missions come up short against Hooks’ long balls

Kyle Overstreet made his Missions debut Thursday and drove in the team's only run in a 6-1 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks. - photo by Joe Alexander
Kyle Overstreet made his Missions debut Thursday and drove in the team’s only run in a 6-1 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks.
The San Antonio Missions struggled at the plate for the second straight night and lost to the Corpus Christi Hooks 6-1 on the road Thursday.

The Missions managed only three hits and struck out 13 times.

Robbie Podorsky accounted for the Missions’ only run. The leadoff batter opened the game with a single, stole second and scored on a hit by Kyle Overstreet. That gave the Missions a 1-0 lead, but they managed only one more hit the rest of the way.

The Hooks recorded only five hits, but blasted three home runs including two by David Hensley.

Robbie Podorsky rounds third base on the way to scoring the Missions' only run in the first inning Thursday against the Corpus Christi Hooks. - photo by Joe Alexander
Robbie Podorsky rounds third base on the way to scoring the Missions’ only run in the first inning Thursday against the Corpus Christi Hooks. – photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA baseball’s Sean Arnold photo gallery

UTSA's Sean Arnold playing outfield against UT Arlington on March 6, 2021, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander
UTSA’s Sean Arnold playing outfield against UT Arlington on March 6, at Roadrunner Field.
Sean Arnold is a grad student from Bryan, Texas.

The 5-foot-11 utility player saw action in 10 of UTSA’s first 38 games, starting five. He is batting .211.

*stats from goutsa.com

Hooks’ strong pitching holds off Missions

The Missions' Jose Azocar tracks down a fly ball against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Jose Azocar tracks down a fly ball against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. – photo by Joe Alexander
Corpus Christi Hooks pitching held the San Antonio Missions in check for all but one inning on Wednesday night.

The Hooks beat the Missions 4-2 to even the series after the Missions won Tuesday night’s season opener.

The Missions strung together three hits in the fifth inning to score twice. But the Missions only had one other hit the rest of the night, that coming in the ninth inning.

Juan Fernandez ignited the Missions’ fifth-inning rally with a leadoff single. Mat Batten followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position with no outs.

The Hooks got the next two batters on a ground out and a strikeout. Robbie Podorsky, who had four hits in Tuesday’s opener, came through again with a two-out single to center that brought in both Fernandez and Batten.

The Hooks went in front for on a two-run homer by Grae Kessinger that gave Corpus Christi a 3-2 lead.

Three Hooks pitchers combined to allow four hits while striking out 17 Missions batters.

Random observations:

Missions second baseman Eguy Rosario is listed at 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds. That’s probably how big he was when he signed his first contract as a teenager. I’m guessing he is more like 5-11 and 190 pounds. He has some muscle on him.

Podorsky is one of the smaller guys on the team and looks like a contact hitter. Two games is a small sample size, but so far he is the Missions’ most consistent batter at putting the ball in play. He has five hits and three RBIs while batting in the No. 9 spot.

Fernandez looks like a guy who has fun playing the game. I think he will be a fan favorite in San Antonio.

The sun angles at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi are very different from Wolff Stadium in San Antonio. At Whataburger, the right fielder is staring into the sun as it sets over the grandstand. At the Wolff, the left fielder is the one fighting the sun before it sets.

Photo gallery: Missions’ defensive plays

Missions bullpen clicks in season opener

Pedro Avila pitched the final inning for the San Antonio Missions in their 8-3 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks in Tuesday's season opener. - photo by Joe Alexander
Pedro Avila pitched the final inning for the San Antonio Missions in their 8-3 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks in Tuesday’s season opener. – photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Missions relievers were one pitch away from four scoreless, hitless innings in the season opener.

Four Missions pitchers worked one inning each in relief in the Missions’ 8-3 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks on Tuesday.

Missions starter Reiss Knehr went five innings before turning things over to the bullpen with San Antonio leading 5-2.

Things didn’t look so promising right after Knehr left the game. The Hooks’ first batter of the sixth inning, David Hensley, hit a home run off of Sam Williams. That cut the Missions’ lead to 5-3. But the Hooks didn’t record a hit the rest of the night.

Williams, a 6-foot-3 left-hander, got through the sixth inning with no more damage, allowing one walk with one strikeout.

Carlos Belen pitched the seventh. The 6-1 right-hander from the Dominican Republic struck out two batters with no walks.

Tom Cosgrove pitched the eighth. The 6-2 left-hander also struck out two batters with no walks.

Pedro Avila closed out the game. The 5-11 right-hander from Venezuela pitched the bottom of the ninth with no hits, no strikeouts and no walks.

For the game the Missions’ relievers allowed one run on one hit with five strikeouts and one walk in four innings.

UTSA baseball infielder Taylor Barber photo gallery

UTSA infielder Taylor Barber playing against Rice on April 24, 2021, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander
UTSA infielder Taylor Barber playing against Rice on April 24 at Roadrunner Field.
UTSA baseball infielder Taylor Barber photo gallery

Taylor Barber is a grad student from Argyle, Texas. He previously played at Northeast Texas Junior College.

The 6-foot-2 infielder has played in 14 of UTSA’s first 37 games, starting five. He is batting .280.

*stats from goutsa.com

Missions make San Antonio’s return to pro baseball a winner

It was this kind of night for the San Antonio Missions and for Juan Fernandez. The Missions catcher celebrates one of his three hits in Tuesday's opening night victory. - photo by Joe Alexander
It was this kind of night for the San Antonio Missions and for Juan Fernandez. The Missions catcher celebrates one of his three hits in Tuesday’s opening night victory. – photos by Joe Alexander
The 20-month layoff from minor-league baseball finally came to an end Tuesday.

The San Antonio Missions won their first game game since September 2019, beating the Corpus Christi Hooks 8-3 on opening night in Corpus Christi.

The return to action meant fun to a sold out but socially distant crowd. For minor league players, it means a return to the journey they hope leads to the major leagues.

Missions starting pitcher Reiss Knehr went five innings and allowed two runs to get the win. He gave up three hits and struck out five batters with three walks.

Robbie Podorsky, the No. 9 batter in the Missions’ batting order, led the team with four hits and scored twice. Cather Juan Fernandez had three hits, CJ Abrams, the team’s top prospect, had two. In all, seven different Missions batters had hits as the Missions out-hit the Hooks 13-4.

Reiss Khern started on the mound for the Missions and got the win in Tuesday's season opener in Corpus Christi. - photo by Joe Alexander
Reiss Khern started on the mound for the Missions and got the win in Tuesday’s season opener in Corpus Christi.
Esteury Ruiz slides into home with the San Antonio Missions' second run of the game in Tuesday's season-opening victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks. - photo by Joe Alexander
Esteury Ruiz slides into home with the San Antonio Missions’ second run of the game in Tuesday’s season-opening victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks.

UTSA baseball’s Ryan Hunt photo gallery

UTSA's Ryan Hunt tracks down a fly ball against Middle Tennessee on April 11, 2021, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander
UTSA’s Ryan Hunt tracks down a fly ball against Middle Tennessee on April 11 at Roadrunner Field.
Ryan Hunt is a junior from Flower Mound, Texas.

The 5-foot-11 outfielder has played in 10 of UTSA’s first 37 games, starting seven. He is batting .318.

*stats from goutsa.com

Missions infield to include two rising Padres prospects

San Diego Padres infield prospect CJ Abrams playing at a 2021 spring training game in Arizona. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Diego Padres infield prospect CJ Abrams at the Padres’ 2021 big league spring training in Peoria, Arizona, in March. – photo by Joe Alexander

Opening day roster also includes five pitching prospects

CJ Abrams and Eguy Rosario were both part of 2021 big league spring training with the San Diego Padres.

The two young infielders spent February and March with the Padres’ stars and first team in Peoria, Arizona.

When the San Antonio Missions open the season tomorrow, things are in place for Abrams and Rosario to be anchoring the middle of the San Antonio defense.

The Missions released their 2021 opening day rosters today. Abrams, ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Padres organization, and Rosario, ranked No. 18, are both on the list.

Abrams is a 20-year-old shortstop from Georgia and a first-round pick by the Padres in the 2019 draft coming out of high school. He is 6-foot-2 and bats left-handed.

Abrams played in 32 games in rookie league and two games in Single A in 2019 and batted .393 with three home runs and 22 RBIs.

Rosario is a 21-year-old second baseman from the Dominican Republic and bats right-handed. He has played in the minors and winter league since being a 16-year-old in 2016.

Rosario spent three games with the San Antonio Missions in 2018 after being called up from High-A. In 2019, he batted .278 in High A in seven home runs and 72 RBIs in 122 games.

The Missions’ roster also includes five pitchers from the Padres’ top 30 prospects.

Right-hander Reggie Lawson is the top rated Padres pitching prospect on the Missions’ roster at No. 8.

Right-handed Missions pitcher Efrain Contreras is No. 16 on the Padres’ prospect list.

Right-handed pitcher Mason Fox is No. 22 on the Padres’ prospect list.

Right-handed pitcher Jordan Humphreys (no, not the former Longhorns receiver) is No. 24 on the Padres’ prospect list.

Lefty Osvaldo Hernandez is No. 29 on the Padres’ prospect list.

The Missions open the season Tuesday night in Corpus Christi, weather permitting.

All prospect rankings from MLB Pipeline at mlbcom

Eguy Rosario playing for the San Diego Padres during 2021 spring training in Arizona. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Diego Padres infield prospect Eguy Rosario at the Padres’ 2021 big league spring training in Peoria, Arizona, in March. – photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA baseball catcher Josh Kileen photo gallery

UTSA catcher Josh Kileen tags a Middle Tennessee base runner at the plate on April 10, 2021, at Roadrunner Field. - photo by Joe Alexander
UTSA catcher Josh Kileen tags a Middle Tennessee base runner at the plate on April 10 at Roadrunner Field.
Josh Kileen is a redshirt freshman from San Antonio. He was an all-district player at Reagan High School in 2017 and 2018.

The 5-foot-10 transfer from Wichita State has been UTSA’s second catcher this season and played in seven games so far, starting six. He is batting .267.

*stats from goutsa.com

UTSA baseball’s Shea Gutierrez: photo gallery

UTSA baseball Shea Gutierrez by Joe Alexander
UTSA infielder Shea Gutierrez puts the tag on a Middle Tennessee base runner at Roadrunner Field.
Shea Gutierrez is a junior from Pflugerville. He started his college career at Incarnate Word and moved to UTSA at the same time as Roadrunners coach Pat Hallmark.

The 5-foot-11 infielder has played in 16 of UTSA’s first 37 games this season, starting 13. He is batting a team-high .362 with 14 RBIs.

*stats from goutsa.com