Hooks’ nine-run first inning spoils opening night for the Missions

Left-hander Gabe Morales struck out five batters in two scoreless innings of relief, and 22-year-old Agustin Ruiz belted a solo home run, but on opening night in the Texas League, it wasn’t nearly enough for the San Antonio Missions.

The Corpus Christi Hooks erupted for nine runs in the bottom of the first Friday night and then cruised to a 14-2 victory in front of 5,543 at Whataburger Field.

Missions starter Osvaldo Hernandez got only one out before he had to be lifted. He was charged with seven runs on six hits.

For the Hooks, Shay Whitcomb and Grae Kessinger homered in the outburst, with Whitcomb going deep off of Hernandez and Kessinger against Ryan Lillie.

Kessinger’s shot was a three-run blast that lifted the Hooks into a 9-0 lead barely 25 minutes into the Missions’ season.

Coming up

Saturday — Missions at Corpus Christi Hooks, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday — Missions at Corpus Christi Hooks, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday — Frisco RoughRiders at San Antonio Missions, 7:05 p.m.

Caleb Boushley gets his chance to shine in Double-A

Wisconsin native Caleb Boushley will get the ball for the Missions Thursday night as they try to rebound from their first loss. In the Missions’ third game of the season, set for Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Boushley is expected to start against lefty Jonathan Bermudez of the Hooks.

It’s a big day for Boushley, 27, a 33rd-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2017, who has won an opening-day roster spot at the Double-A level of the minors for the first time in his career.

He has pitched almost entirely at the Class A level since he was drafted in 2017 out of NCAA Division III Wisconsin-LaCrosse. In his last full season, pre-pandemic, Boushley was named a midseason all star at Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League.

Boushley went on to finish the season 5-4 with a 3.61 earned run average. Last year, he thought he would get a chance to pitch for the Padres in Double-A Amarillo. But that day never came as the season was scrapped by the pandemic.

Instead, he returned home to Hortonville, Wis., to live with his parents. During the summer, he played catch on a tennis court with a teammate to try and stay sharp, according to the LaCrosse Tribune.

J.P. France fanned 11 in a 17-strikeout showing by the Hooks Wednesday night, leading to a 4-2 victory over the visiting Missions.

After France worked six innings, Enoli Paredes and Hunter Peck finished off a dominant performance. Together, the three allowed only four hits.

The Missions produced 13 hits in winning the opener, 8-3, on Tuesday night.

Grae Kessinger, the grandson of former Cubs star Don Kessinger, bashed a two-run homer off Missions left-hander Jerry Keel in the bottom of the sixth for a 3-2 Hooks lead. They added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI double by Corey Julks, formerly of Clear Brook High School and the University of Houston.

Louisiana native Robbie Podorsky slapped a two-run single, his fifth hit in in two games, to give the Missions a 2-1 lead in the fifth.

It’s the first series of the season between the Hooks, affiliated with the Houston Astros, and the Missions, who are linked this year with the San Diego Padres. The series is six games and will run through Sunday.


Corpus Christi 1-1
San Antonio 1-1

Coming up

Caleb Boushley pitching for San Antonio at Corpus Christi, with lefty Jonathan Bermudez, Thursday, 6:35 p.m.

Missions call on Adrian Martinez to start in Game 2

San Antonio Missions shortstop CJ Abrams playing against the Corpus Christi Hooks in the season opener on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. - photo by Joe Alexander

Shortstop CJ Abrams went 2 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI in his Missions debut Tuesday night. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Missions have been blessed with standout play at shortstop over the past several years. In 2018, it was Fernando Tatis, Jr. In 2019, Mauricio Dubon. This year, they’ll have CJ Abrams, the No. 2 prospect in the San Diego Padres organization.

Abrams slapped a couple of doubles in his Double-A debut as the Missions opened the new season by beating the Corpus Christi Hooks 8-3 on the road Tuesday night.

The Missions and Hooks will continue with the season-opening, six-game series Wednesday night at Whataburger Field. Right-hander Adrian Martinez is scheduled to start for San Antonio against righty J.P. France for Corpus Christi, a Houston Astros affiliate.

In Game 1, the Missions backed starting pitcher Reiss Knehr with 13 hits, including four by Robbie Podorsky and three by Juan Fernandez. Knehr limited the Hooks to two runs on three hits in five innings.


Among the Missions standouts in the opener, Podorsky (Baton Rouge, La.) is the oldest at 26. Knehr (Glen Head, N.Y.) is 24. Fernandez (Valencia, Venezuela) is 22 and Abrams (Roswell, Ga.) 20.