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Naturals take series opener in Springfield
07/26/2013 12:23 AM ET
 (Picasa)

Springfield, MO - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals topped the Springfield Cardinals, 6-0, before 5,257 fans at Hammons Field on Thursday night. The six total pitchers combined to strike out 32 batters in the game, the most ever in a nine-inning game in Texas League history.

The Naturals (20-14, 45-59) got out to a quick start with a leadoff triple from CF Brett Eibner against RHP Seth Blair (L, 3-8) in the top of the first inning. SS Orlando Calixte promptly plated Eibner with an RBI infield single, lifting the Naturals into the 1-0 lead.

Northwest Arkansas doubled the early advantage in the top of the second. DH Lane Adams worked a walk to open the frame, before stealing second base. One out later and after a wild pitch advanced Adams to third, 2B Angel Franco skied an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Adams for the 2-0 lead.

From that point on, both Blair and Naturals RHP Kyle Zimmer (W, 2-0) dominated the opposing offenses. Blair allowed only three more hits through the remainder of his outing, striking out a season-high 11 batters and keeping the Cardinals (16-18, 49-53) within striking distance. However, Zimmer was excellent as well, dealing six scoreless innings with a season-high twelve strikeouts, exiting after the sixth with the Naturals still ahead, 2-0.

Northwest Arkansas added insurance late in the contest with a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth innings. With runners at first and second, an errant pick off attempt followed by a pair of wild pitched plated the two runs in the eighth, before a two-run home run in the ninth to account for the eventual final score of 6-0 in the Naturals win.

Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.

The series continues with a can't-miss AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring Classic Rock Music this Friday after the 7:09pm game. Gates open at 6:09pm. 

On Saturday, it's the Hiland Dairy Texas League Championship Ceramic Ice Cream/Cereal Bowl Giveaway (2,500) with a 6:09pm First Pitch. Saturday will also feature the DSGO Step Up for Down Syndrome. Gates open at 5:09pm.

The homestand wraps up with a special evening this Sunday, featuring the Cline Dental Stan Musial Statue Giveaway (2,500). Sunday is also a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with a free ice cream party for kids before the game, and all kids can run the bases after the game. First Pitch is 6:09pm with gates opening at 5:09pm.

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.

Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 Promotional Schedule and to get your tickets right now.

Escape to Cardinals Baseball!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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