Leiter fans four in a four-inning no decision as Frisco beats San Antonio

Frisco RoughRiders pitcher Jack Leiter experienced some early wildness but settled down to pitch four fairly clean innings Saturday afternoon at Wolff Stadium.

Leiter, the No. 2 overall pick in the baseball draft last summer by the Texas Rangers, gave up one run on one hit and three walks. Showing off a crackling high fastball, he struck out four.

In his second game as pro, the former All-American at Vanderbilt threw 75 pitches, and 42 of them were strikes. He left the game with a 4-1 lead.

Trailing 2-0, the Missions got to Leiter for a run in the bottom of the second. Yorman Rodriguez led off with a double to deep center field.

Rodriguez moved to third on a ground ball by Tirso Ornelas and scored on a grounder by Connor Hollis. Leiter struck out Chris Givin to end the threat.

In the third inning, Leiter found trouble again with back-to-back, one-out walks to Esteury Ruiz and Korry Howell. When Ruiz walked, he stole second, and then Howell was issued his free pass.

The next two batters hit the ball hard. Brandon Dixon flied to right field, moving Ruiz to third. With Walding at the plate, Howell stole second, putting two men in scoring position with two out.

Walding followed by driving a ball deep to center that was run down by the Rough Riders’ J.P. Martinez on the warning track.

In the fourth inning, Leiter set down the Missions 1-2-3.

First, Rodriguez smashed a ball hard to center that was caught. Next, Tirso Ornelas was caught looking at strike three. Finally, Hollis grounded sharply to shortstop Ezequiel Duran.

The Missions rallied with two runs in the sixth. But the Rough Riders held on to win the seven-inning game, 4-3.

Through two games, Leiter has worked seven innings, and he’s yielded two runs (both earned) on only two hits. He’s had some control problems, walking five. But his fastball and breaking pitches have been good, as he’s struck out 11.

One scout told a Missions staffer that Leiter was throwing as hard as 97 mph.

Notable

Before the start of the doubleheader, a broadcaster for the Frisco RoughRiders said that the ball club would not make Leiter available to speak with the media.

Frisco reliever Grant Wolfram was the winning pitcher and Nick Starr picked up the save. Missions starter Thomas Eshelman took the loss.

Eschelman worked all seven innings and gave up 12 hits. All four runs were earned. He walked none and struck out two.

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