Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals plated five runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back, cruising to the 11-3 victory against the Corpus Christi Hooks before 3,481 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.
The Hooks (5-8, 47-36) rallied right away in the top of the first inning against LHP Jonathan Cornelius (W, 1-2). With the bases full of Hooks and only one away, 3B Jonathan Meyer worked an RBI walk to force in C Rene Garcia from third. However, Cornelius worked out of the rest of the frame with no further damage being done, getting out of trouble with the Corpus lead at only 1-0.
The Cardinals (6-7, 39-42) responded in a powerful way in the bottom of the second inning against RHP Ross Seaton (L, 1-1). With one down and the bases clear, RF Stephen Piscotty belted a solo bomb to left-center, tying the game at one apiece. DH Cody Stanley then reached on an error, followed by a single from SS Jake Lemmerman and a walk from 2B Luis Mateo to load the bases with one down. C Audry Perez promptly unloaded the bases, crushing a grand slam to left-center and swinging the Cards to the 5-1 advantage.
Springfield further stretched the lead against Seaton in the bottom of the fourth. After Seaton retired the frame's first two batters, Mateo struck with a solo shot over the left field fence, increasing the advantage to 6-1.
The Cardinals continued the attack in the very next frame, plating another run in the bottom of the fifth. After base hits by CF James Ramsey and 1B Xavier Scruggs, Piscotty drove an RBI double to right-center field, scoring Ramsey from second base. Scruggs tried to score from first on the play, but the Hooks got him at the plate to end the inning with Springfield leading it, 7-1.
After four consecutive scoreless innings logged by Cornelius, Corpus Christi started chipping away with a long-ball of their own in the top of the sixth inning. A pair of foul outs to Scruggs at first base started the frame, but 1B Zach Johnson extended the inning with a two-out single. LF Raoul Torrez then lined a two-run homer that just got over the left-field wall, slicing the Cardinals lead to 7-3.
Springfield responded right away with two more tallies in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back singles from Stanley and Lemmerman got two men on to start the inning, before they both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Mateo. The Hooks intentionally walked Perez to face LF Mike O'Neill, who made them pay with a two-run single to left-center field, stretching the advantage back to six runs, 9-3.
The Cards then put the finishing touches on in the bottom of the eighth against RHP Matt Heidenreich. Lemmerman and Mateo again sparked the rally with a walk and a single, respectively. Perez and O'Neill followed with consecutive RBI singles, increasing the lead to eight runs.
After RHP Heath Wyatt tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth, RHP Deryk Hooker slammed the door with a perfect top of the ninth, closing the 11-3 win for the Cardinals.
Click here for the complete box score from Wednesday's game.
Springfield hosts the Hooks on Thursday, July 4 at 5:09pm for the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration. Get your tickets today at SpringfieldCardinals.com or by calling the Ticket Office at (417) 863-2143.
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