Springfield threatened in the first inning as Jermaine Curtis walked and Oscar Taveras followed with a double. After a Jamie Romak strikeout, Greg Garcia was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Xavier Scruggs followed and struck out end the inning.
Cardinals starter Scott Gorgen pitched into and out of trouble in the 3rd allowing a double and walk to put runners on the corners with no one out, but got a fielder's choice, a shallow pop up and a ground out to get out of the inning.
Still 0-0 in the 5th, the Cardinals had stranded seven runners on base. But, Greg Garcia knocked in Jermaine Curtis with a one out single to break to scoreless tie making it 1-0.
Gorgen found himself in another jam in the bottom of the 5th with runners at second and third with one out, but got a line out and another groundout to keep the game 1-0. Gorgen pitched through the 6th allowing just four hits with seven strikeouts.
Springfield added a huge insurance run in the 8th as Mike O'Neill reached on a two-out walk, stole second and moved to third on an errant throw. Kolten Wong then broke his bat on a ground ball to second base that was misplayed by Leury Garcia to score O'Neill making it a 2-0 advantage.
After a scoreless 7th from Michael Wacha, Eric Fornataro allowed a solo homer in the 8th to Chris McGuiness to bring the score to 2-1. A base hit by Tommy Mendonca and a ground out had the tying run at second base. Jared Hoying followed with a single to left, but Adam Melker threw out Mendonca at the plate preserving the one-run lead.
Keith Butler allowed a two out single in the 9th, but got a fielder's choice ground out from Engel Beltre to end the game and give the Cardinals their first Texas League Championship in franchise history.
Thank you to all of our great fans in Springfield for a terrific 2012 season at Hammons Field!
Escape to Cardinals Baseball!