Where Baseball is TONS of Fun!

By Cade Haak

ABILENE, TX (June 25th, 2024) – The Texarkana Rhinos took a loss in both of the opening games of the three-game series against the Abilene Flying Bison, as the Bison won both of the seven-inning matches. The first ended 5-4 and the second 6-5. 

The Rhinos jumped out early as they scored a run in the opening frame. Wyatt Cunningham kicked off the game with a single that made its way into right field and then made his way to second on a steal. After stealing second, Gabriel Natividad hit the ball back where it came from to earn a single and an RBI as Cunningham scored. 

Two innings later, the Rhinos widened their lead even further by adding three more runs to their total for four unanswered runs to that point. In the third, Ian Guanzon drew a walk to begin a two-out rally. Gabriel Natividad then carried on the inning with a single. Neil Jansen then drove in Guanzon with a single that cut through the middle of the infield. Next, with two Rhinos sitting on the bases, Rylan Evans took advantage of the opportunity and drove a triple into a gap in the outfield to score both Natividad and Jansen to set Texarkana’s run at four. 

From that point in the game, the momentum shifted, and the Rhinos bats went quiet just as the Flying Bisons bats lit up. In the home half of the fourth inning, Abilene scored their first run of the game; runs two and three followed in the bottom of the sixth, and Abilene still faced a deficit of one run going into the final inning of game one. Despite being behind, Abilene was able to take the victory away from Texarkana when Gianni Horvat stole home on a passed ball to win in the seventh.

Due to the late game comeback, it was the closer for Abilene, Cooper Hrbacek, who walked away with a win in the scorebook. The loss goes on the stats of Zachary Andrews, who pitched 6.2 innings in pursuit of a complete game win. 

The second game started in favor of Abilene when they tallied two runs in the bottom of the second inning off of the Rhinos starting pitcher, Dalton Graham. The Rhinos then cut the Bisons lead in half by scoring a lone run in the top of the third inning. That lone run was scored by Wyatt Cunningham, who was driven in on a single from Gabriel Natividad out into shallow left field. 

With the score already at 2-1 in favor of Abilene, the Flying Bison then tacked on another run in the fifth just before the Rhinos made a push to come back. Both of the Rhinos’ runs in the sixth came from an error on the part of the pitcher as Texarkana loaded the bases, and then both of their two runs were brought in freely as Wyatt Cunningham and Matt Beuka both walked. 

Directly after this, Abilene took the lead back into their hands by scoring three runs to make their total six. After these three runs, the Rhinos headed into the top of the seventh, down three runs to six. Neil Jansen singled to start Texarkana’s push for a comeback. Then he was moved to third base on a single from Antonio Sabala. Jansen then scored on a wild pitch, while Sabala made his way to second base. Sabala then scored on an error for the fifth and final run of the game. 

The loss in game two went to Brandon Cardenas, who allowed Abilene to score three runs in just one inning. For Abilene, Anthony Heredia was brought in to close out the game and concluded the game with his second win of the season, putting his record at two wins and no losses. 

Next Up:

Texarkana will make their way back to George Dobson Field this Thursday, June 26th, to host the Piney Woods TimberHogs. Before heading to play the TimberHogs on their home field the following two days.

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