Missions take two from Naturals in extra innings

San Antonio’s Rod Boykin bunts for a single, and Northwest Arkansas reliever Bryan Brickhouse throws high to first base for an error, allowing the winning run to score in a wild finish to Thursday night’s doubleheader.

The San Antonio Missions swept a doubleheader from Northwest Arkansas Thursday night at Wolff Stadium, claiming both victories in extra innings by 4-3 scores.

They won in the eighth inning in the first game and in the ninth in the second.

Both contests were scheduled for seven innings, with one counting as a makeup for a Wednesday night rainout.

The second game featured a more dramatic play to end the proceedings, as San Antonio’s Matthew Batten scored from second base on Rod Boykin’s bunt single and a throwing error by Northwest Arkansas reliever Bryan Brickhouse.

New rules in the Texas League this season mandate that innings beyond regulation start with a runner at second base.

The Missions took full advantage of the rule as Boykin laid down his bunt to the left of the mound.

Brickhouse fielded the ball cleanly but threw late and high to first base, which allowed Batten to score.

The Naturals tried to put the home team away by scoring twice in the top of the eighth, capitalizing on a Missions error and two singles to take a 3-1 lead.

But the Missions tied it in the bottom half on a two-out, two-run homer by Nick Schulz, who was credited with the winnning RBI in the first game.


San Antonio 8-6, 50-34
Northwest Arkansas 2-10, 37-45

Missions rightfielder Nick Schulz rounds the bases after a two-out, two-run homer off Coleby Blueberg to tie the game at 3-3.


In Game One, Schulz drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk, forcing in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

Take a look at the winning play and the reaction of the Northwest Arkansas players, who apparently disagreed with the call on a fastball that was deemed to missed the strike zone, just off the inside inside corner:

How it happened

The Missions led 3-0 leading into the sixth of a scheduled seven-inning game, the first of a doubleheader. In response, the Naturals retaliated by scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to tie.

After 19-year-old Missions reliever Andres Munoz blanked the Naturals in the top of the eighth, the home team took advantage of new rules to end the game against Naturals reliever Andres Machado.

Starting the inning with a runner at second base, the Missions got another freebie when Machado intentionally walked Austin Allen.

At that point, Taylor Kohlwey bunted for a hit to load the bases.

Initially, the Missions failed to take advantage. Webster Rivas popped up to right field for the first out.

The next man up, Schulz, worked the count full against Machado, fouling off multiple pitches on strike two. Finally, he took a ball four to force in the game winner.

Ty France jogged home to give the Missions the victory in the first game of a six-game homestand.

Coming up

Naturals at Missions, Friday, 7:05 p.m.

Missions reliever Andres Munoz fires a high fastball past Erick Mejia to end the top of the eighth. The Naturals left runners at first and third base. Munoz, 19, from Los Mochis, Mexico, earned the victory in his home debut.