You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Texas college alums lift Express to Opening Night victory


Highlights

UTA product Beck delivers walk-off hit in 11th inning.

Texas State ex Martinson contributes before injury.

Round Rock pitchers whiff 16 Nashville batters.

A Texas college connection lifted the Round Rock Express to an 11-inning 2-1 win over Nashville on Opening Night Thursday at Dell Diamond.

Shortstop Jason Martinson, a Texas State alum playing his first game for the Express, drove in the season’s first run with a second-inning single.

Nine innings later, designated hitter Preston Beck, a former UT-Arlington player, knocked in the game winner with a line shot deep into the right-center field gap.

“I hit a home run on Opening Night last year in Frisco, but I’ve never had a walk-off in an opener before,” said Beck, 25, who played high school ball at Dallas Bishop Lynch.

Beck, a Texas Rangers fifth-round draft choice in 2012, had two of Round Rock’s eight hits.

“Starting like this definitely gives you more confidence,” he said. “The longer you wait to get that first hit, the more it can play on your mind.”

Beck wasn’t put off by being the rare DH who bats ninth.

“I’m thrilled to be in the lineup,” he said.

Right fielder Cesar Puello had two hits in his Round Rock debut and began the winning rally with a double. Beck delivered his hit off a Tucker Healy fastball with two out.

“He got ahead in the count and didn’t try to do too much,” Express Manager Jason Wood said of Beck. “He put together good at bats all night and handled a lot of velocity being thrown at him.

“This was a well-pitched game throughout, and I’ll tell you it’s nice to open at home. We had a good crowd, there was a good vibe here.”

Six Round Rock pitchers combined to strike out 16 batters. Starter Tyler Wagner hurled shutout ball over five innings. The back-end bullpen tandem of Keone Kela and R.J. Alvarez recorded five of their six outs by strikeout, and Jaye Chapman worked the 11th to get the victory.

“I like those power arms of Kela and Alvarez,” Wood said. “Wagner pitched to contact, and the bullpen got the job done.”

Nashville shortstop Franklin Barreto, 21, the Oakland A’s No. 1 prospect, tied the game with a triple in the eighth inning.

“They are loaded with prospects,” Wood said of the Sounds, who had the best record in the Pacific Coast League last year. “It feels good getting off on the right foot against them.”

There was one casualty. Martinson, the former Bobcat who spent his first seven years in the Washington Nationals organization, was hit in the hand in the 11th inning and is likely to miss the next few games.

An announced attendance of 9,569 watched Opening Night ceremonies that had a Veterans theme. There was a World War II plane flyover from the Freedom Flyers of Burnet. Children of military families lined the field before the game.

Austin Copeland threw out the first pitch. His father Sean and brother Brodie of Lakeway died in a terrorist attack in Nice, France, last July. He was accompanied by his stepmother Kim and sister Maegan.

The pregame finished with the memorial first pitch, an Express season-opening ritual which honors those who’ve died since last season ended. The ball is thrown to every player on the field and the left fielder, who touches it last, whips it out of the ballpark. Travis Snider did the honors as the crowd stood and clapped.

Another season is off and rolling. The Express and Sounds play four more games, with Round Rock’s Allen Webster opposing Michael Brady on Friday night.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

A forgetful moment and a fire in the kitchen
A forgetful moment and a fire in the kitchen

I’ve grown old and forgetful, and we are starting to pay a price for it. By “we” I mean Rana and me, along with anybody else who happens to glide into our orbit. It’s embarrassing and stupid, at times, like when I tried to burn down the house a few weeks ago. The event of which I’m speaking occurred April 30, a Sunday...
Leggett: It’s a bream, not a perch
Leggett: It’s a bream, not a perch

I’ve spent more than 30 years writing about hunting and fishing in Austin, and there’s something that’s bugged me throughout that time. It’s a little thing, I know, but the truth is, I hate it when folks use the “P” word in reference to bream. I got a lotta problems with you people!! In East Texas, where I grew up...
Snider leads Round Rock to win over Las Vegas

Travis Snider doubled three times as the Round Rock Express beat the Las Vegas 51s 7-3 on Friday at Dell Diamond. With the victory, the Express swept the four-game series. It’s their first series sweep of the season. That makes it two straight series wins and a 7-1 homestand which followed up a 2-6 road trip. With the game tied 1-1, the Express...
Big 12 tournament notebook: McKenzie’s role at Texas shifts to clutch hitter
Big 12 tournament notebook: McKenzie’s role at Texas shifts to clutch hitter

OKLAHOMA CITY — Texas collected 11 hits in a 5-4 win over Kansas at the Big 12 tournament on Thursday. But for their most-important hit, the Longhorns turned to their bench. Thursday’s decisive run was scored in the sixth. With left-handed pitcher Chase Kaplan emerging from the Kansas bullpen and Longhorns on second and third base...
An Aggie’s record 400 overshadows Texas hurdlers at NCAA West regional
An Aggie’s record 400 overshadows Texas hurdlers at NCAA West regional

When Spencer Dunkerley-Offor glanced at the Myers Stadium scoreboard after his 110-meter hurdles race Friday at the NCAA West regional track and field championships, he saw a time of 12.6 seconds by his name. That would have been in world-record territory. “I thought to myself, ‘That’s cool, but that’s definitely not real,&rsquo...
More Stories