The road has not really been nice for the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs, but after taking two out of three games from the Bay Area Toros last weekend, the Dawgs realized the road is not as bad as it seems.
It was the first road-series win for Corpus Christi since the Beach Dawgs took two of three against the Texarkana Gunslingers nearly two months ago.
The Toros got off to a good start in the series with a 8-3 win in Game One Friday night, thanks to a seven-run third inning.
Alex Dutka made his first start Friday for Corpus Christi since injuring his hand nearly a month ago.
Dutka pitched just two innings and gave up six runs in the loss.
The Beach Dawgs returned the favor with a big inning of their own in Game Two Saturday, coming from behind with an 8-5 win.
After Corpus Christi starter Joel Krikstan gave up five earned runs in three innings of pitching, it was up to the relievers and offense to step it up as the Dawgs were down 5-1.
Relievers Erik Lingren, Aaron Wimpee and Rene Alicea kept the Toros scoreless, with Wimpee getting the win.
Corpus Christi took advantage of three critical errors from Bay Area second baseman Jason Diaz and third baseman Daniel Cox in the eighth inning, helping the Beach Dawgs score six runs in the inning.
All six runs given up in the eighth inning were unearned with Bay Area reliever Ryne Nelson getting the loss.
The Beach Dawgs had to play catch-up again Sunday night to wrap up the series against the Toros with a 7-4 win.
Although Corpus Christi had four errors in the game, the seven Beach Dawg runs scored in the top of the sixth inning were enough of a cushion to compensate for the defensive miscues.
Corpus Christi first baseman Nick Shay was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the win, while starter Miguel Soza got the win for the Beach Dawgs, going seven innings and giving up five hits and five walks while striking out five batters. Only one of the four runs Soza allowed was earned.
After that series, the Beach Dawgs found themselves just two games behind the first-place Gunslingers in the standings.
With just two-and-a-half weeks left in the season, the Dawgs have already secured a spot in the playoffs, but a recent change in the playoff format could put them in jeopardy of not hosting a playoff game at Fairgrounds Field.
"It's an economic decision to keep from traveling expenses becoming a hassle," said Continental Baseball League president and Beach Dawgs owner Ron Baron. "We made the decision last week, but we have been discussing the possibility of changing the playoff format since the first half of the season."
The team with the best overall record will not only host the best-of-three championship series, but will also get a first-round bye.
"We want all four of our teams to fight until the end," Baron said. "We want every game to count."
The second and third place teams will play in a wild card-like match, with the winner of that best-of-three game series facing the top seed.
The second-place team will host that first round series.
The playoffs are expected to begin Aug. 19.
As for the Beach Dawgs, they wrap up a three-game home series against Bay Area at 7 p.m. today before heading back on the road to face the McKinney Blue Thunder Friday.