Springfield, MO - With two down in the bottom of the ninth, the Springfield Cardinals rallied for five runs, but the Corpus Christi Hooks hung on for the 10-8 win before 5,350 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
The Hooks (6-9, 48-37) jumped in front right out of the gates, striking for five runs in the top of the first inning. 2B Ronald Torreyes started the game with a double down the left field side, but then LHP Anthony Ferrara (L, 5-4) countered with consecutive strikeouts to retire the first two outs in the frame. However, CF Domingo Santana was hit by a pitch to keep the inning going, before an RBI single from 3B Jonathan Meyer brought in Torreyes for the game's first run. RF Preston Tucker worked a walk to load the bases, and then SS Enrique Hernandez followed suit with a free pass of his own, forcing in the second run of the inning. RHP Corey Baker took over on the mound, but LF Raoul Torrez struck for a three-run double down the left field line, clearing the bases and extending the advantage to 5-0.
After a two-run homer by Meyer in the top of the third increased the Hooks lead to seven runs, the Cardinals (7-8, 40-43) started chipping away in the bottom of the third against RHP Mike Foltynewicz (W, 4-1). RF Adam Melker started the inning with a line drive single to center field. He then took second on a ground out by 3B Vance Albitz, before moving to third on a LF Mike O'Neill base hit. CF James Ramsey brought home Melker with an RBI fielder's choice to the right side of the infield, getting the Cards on the board, 7-1.
The Hooks stretched the lead back out with three runs in the top of the fifth. With the bases full and one away, an error brought in the frame's first run, before a two-run double by 1B Zach Johnson put the Hooks in front, 10-1.
Springfield started the comeback process again with a solo home run by Ramsey in the bottom of the fifth, before a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. 3B Tyler Rahmatulla extended the sixth inning with a pinch-hit single, and quickly advanced to second base after a walk by Melker. Albitz followed with a perfectly placed RBI single to center field, plating Rahmatulla to slice the deficit to 10-3.
Trailing by seven runs to start the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals refused to go down quietly. DH Ruben Gotay opened the inning with a walk, moving to second base on a single by 1B Xavier Scruggs. LHP Kyle Hallock retired the next two Cardinals, but Rahmatulla kept the game alive with a walk to load the bases. Melker then chopped a two-run single through the right side of the infield, followed by a towering three-run home run from Albitz to bring Springfield within only two runs of tying it. After the home run, the Hooks brought in RHP Andrew Robinson (S, 1) to face O'Neill, and the righty won the battle with a game-ending comebacker to the mound, as Corpus Christi escaped with the 10-8 win.
Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.
Saturday is the Coca-Cola Texas League Championship Red Cap Giveaway for 2,500 fans, along with a 6:09pm First Pitch against San Antonio. Gates open at 5:09pm.
The Cardinals take on the Missions on Sunday at 6:09pm for a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday, featuring FREE ice cream for kids before the game, courtesy of Hiland Dairy. All kids can then run the bases just like the Cardinals after the game. Gates open at 5:09pm.
The Cards wrap up the homestand on Monday with a 7:09pm First Pitch against the Missions. Gates open at 6:09pm.
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