Round Rock, TX -The Round Rock Dance Halls used a four-run third inning to defeat the Nashville Honky Tonks 8-1 Wednesday night. The victory puts the Dance Halls in front 1-0 in the nine-game Battle for the Boot series.
A pair of two-out two-run home runs in the third inning gave Round Rock all the separation it needed to secure the victory. After the first two batters were retired by Honky Tonks starter Eric Jokisch, the next five reached base. Tony Sanchez doubled then Tommy Joseph homered. Andy Ibanez kept the rally going with a single and came around to score on Cameron Rupp’s opposite field blast.
Nashville threatened to put together a two-out rally of its own in the fourth inning after back to back base hits from Sheldon Neuse and BJ Boyd put runners on the corners but Michael Roth induced a ground ball from Steve Lombardozzi to keep the score 5-1 in favor of the Dance Halls.
The Honky Tonks plated their lone run of the game in the second inning as they loaded the bases with no outs. All they could muster, however was a sacrifice fly from Boyd.
Honky Tonks reliever Jarret Martin struggled in his Triple-A debut as he walked four of the seven batters he faced and allowed two runs in the sixth inning.
Nashville loaded the bases again in the seventh inning with three singles but were unable to chip away at the 8-1 deficit as all three base runners were left stranded. Jake Sanchez and Jeremy Bleich each allowed two hits and fanned three batters without allowing a run out of the Honky Tonks’ bullpen.
Game two of the five-game series is scheduled for Thursday night at Dell Diamond. Right-hander Jame Naile (4-5, 3.38) starts for the Honky Tonks against left-hander David Hurlbut (1-4, 5.21) for the Dance Halls. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
With tonight’s 8-1 loss, Nashville dropped to 26-25 on the season.
After scoring just one run tonight, Nashville has scored just 25 runs in its last 11 games and has scored two or fewer runs in seven of those games.
Honky Tonks starter Eric Jokisch entered tonight needing to pitch 2 2/3 innings to reach the 1,000-inning milestone. He lasted five innings. Jokisch has now allowed four or more runs in seven of his 10 outings this season.
Jokisch was ahead in the count on all seven hits he allowed.
The Honky Tonks matched a season-high by walking eight batters.
For just the third time this season Nashville lost a game in which it tallied at least 10 hits. They are now 11-3 in such games.
Nick Martini extended his consecutive on-base streak to 38 games when he singled to lead off the game. Martini’s streak is the longest by a Nashville player in the Pacific Coast League era. It’s the longest active streak in the Pacific Coast League. Since April 14th, Martini has reached safely in every game he has played in.
Nashville have now split the all-time series 105-105.
The 2018 season is the Sounds’ 41st in franchise history and fourth as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com