Springfield, MO - With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, RF Chris Swauger was hit by a pitch, forcing in the game-winning run and lifting the Springfield Cardinals to the 3-2 victory against the Tulsa Drillers before 3,267 fans at Hammons Field on Monday night.
Springfield (15-16, 48-51) got off to a powerful start, swinging in front in the bottom of the first inning against RHP Tim Gustafson. With two down and the bases clear, 3B Ruben Gotay hammered a solo home run over the right field fence, lifting the Cardinals into the early 1-0 lead.
LHP Tim Cooney struck out four through his first three scoreless frames, but the Drillers (13-18, 47-52) broke through in the top of the fourth. A solo home run by LF Kyle Parker led off the inning, tying the game right away. Tulsa then strung together four straight singles, including a bases-loaded RBI single by RF Tyler Kuhn. However, Cooney worked out the rest of the inning unscathed with a strikeout and a double play, only enabling the Drillers to claim a 2-1 advantage.
Springfield kept the margin narrow before evening the score in the bottom of the eighth. Leading off the frame, CF James Ramsey belted a solo home run over the left field wall, squaring the score at 2-2.
After LHP Lee Stoppelman (W, 1-1) kept the new tie intact in the top of the ninth, the Cardinals dealt the final blow in the bottom of the ninth. Facing LHP Isaiah Froneberger (L, 1-3), SS Jake Lemmerman led off the inning with a double ripped into the left field corner. Pinch hitter Vance Albitz advanced Lemmerman to third base with a sacrifice bunt, before LF Mike O'Neill worked a walk. After O'Neill took second base on defensive indifference, Froneberger induced a ground out to first base, not enabling Lemmerman to score. The Drillers then intentionally walked Gotay, loading the bases for RF Chris Swauger. However, Froneberger hit Swauger with a breaking ball, forcing in Lemmerman from third base for the 3-2 walk-off win for Springfield.
Click here for the complete box score from Monday's game.
The homestand continues on Tuesday night with a 7:09pm First Pitch and a Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day, featuring delicious hot dogs for just a buck. Gates open at 6:09pm.
Don't miss all of this week's fun, including the Great Southern Bank Texas League Championship Trophy Snow Globe Giveaway (2,500), Christmas in July and a Johnsonville "Buck a Brat" Night this Thursday at 7:09pm, AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring Classic Rock Music this Friday at 7:09pm, the Hiland Dairy Texas League Championship Ceramic Ice Cream/Cereal Bowl Giveaway (2,500) on Saturday at 6:09pm and the Cline Dental Stan Musial Statue Giveaway (2,500), a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases this Sunday at 6:09pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a Cake Pop Company Birthday Party or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-2143 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
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