There was plenty of uncertainty surrounding Tommy Hoenshell’s professional debut. He had not pitched in game action in nearly two months, the righty had not yet been with the Prairie Dogs for three full days, and his scheduled debut was rained out on Sunday night in Fort Worth. However, there was nothing uncertain about the way the 6’6” righty performed on Monday night in Abilene. After lasting seven innings, striking out eight batters, and yielding just a single run, Hoenshell captured a victory in his first professional start, leading the Dogs to an 8-2 win over McAllen at Walt Driggers Field.
The debutant allowed a base hit to the first man he faced but then used four punchouts help him retire the next seven batters he faced. Hoenshell fended off trouble in the third after consecutive one-out singles left runners on the corners. He forced Mike Demperio to ground into a fielder’s choice and got Mike Goss to bounce out to second base to end frame.
Eddie Browne broke a scoreless tie with a two out, two-run single in the bottom of the second inning and doubled the lead with another two-run knock up the middle in the fourth.
All the while, Hoenshell was cruising through the Thunder lineup. The California native retired the side in order in the four and worked around a pair of singles to slip through the top of the fifth unscathed, Hoenshell allowed just one extra base hit and did not walk a batter.
In the bottom of the fifth, Wilson Batista connected with his seventh home run of the season, a towering shot to right field off McAllen starter Alexei Perez that widened the Dogs lead to 5-0 in the fifth. Perez allowed six runs on 10 hits in five innings of work en route to his third loss of the season.
Jamel Mann relieved Perez and surrendered a two-run double to Kyle Nichols in the bottom of the sixth.
Hoenshell allowed his only run in his final inning of work when Nathan Tomaszewski plated Nick Mahin with a double to right-center.
Gunner Glad gave up a run in the eighth and Braden Tullis retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Dogs and Thunder continue a six-game series at 7:05 on Tuesday night at Walt Driggers’ Field. Hear the game on 106.9 KLGD or on the internet at abileneprairiedogs.com beginning with the First Financial pregame show at 6:55.
Information for this story provided by Prairie Dog staff.