Padron Powers Midland To Texas League Title

Padron's 12th inning blast won it for Midland.

After posting the best regular season record in the Texas League, the Midland Rockhounds established their supremacy over the rest of the league by capturing the Texas League title in a thrilling extra-innings win over Northwest Arkansas.

Down 2-0 in the top of the ninth inning, the Midland Rockhounds were facing the possibility of having to play a winner-takes-all game five of the Texas League Championship Series. Instead, the Rockhounds tied the game on a two-run Corey Brown homerun and would eventually win the game in the 12th when Raul Padron hit a two-run homerun of his own to give the Rockhounds a 4-2 win and the Texas League title.

The game was a pitchers' duel from the start. Midland starter Tyson Ross and Northwest Arkansas hurler Everett Teaford each tossed six scoreless innings. Ross allowed only three hits and he struck-out 11 while walking one. The first runs of the game didn't come until the seventh, when the Naturals scored twice off of Midland reliever Jonathan Hunton.

Steve Sharpe and Carlos Hernandez combined to toss a scoreless eighth inning for the Rockhounds and then Mickey Storey hurled a scoreless ninth after Brown's game-tying homer to send the contest into extra-innings.

Justin Friend would walk the first two batters in the bottom of the 10th, but Jason Fernandez saved the day for Midland by working out of the inning. He would throw a scoreless 11th and would be the winning pitcher when Padron crushed his two-run homer in the top of the 12th. Jared Lansford saved his second straight game with a scoreless 12th to give the Rockhounds the title.

Midland manager Darren Bush became the first A's minor league manager since Von Hayes to win titles in back-to-back years but for different affiliates. Bush managed the Stockton Ports to the California League title in 2008. Hayes earned titles for the Modesto A's (Cal League) in 2004 and the Rockhounds in 2005. The 2009 crown was the second outright Texas League title for the Midland franchise since becoming an Oakland A's affiliate.

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