Midland, TX - After the Springfield Cardinals struck with five runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game, the Midland RockHounds walked off in the bottom of the ninth with an 11-10 win before 6,897 fans at Citibank Ballpark on Saturday night. With 15 games remaining in the Regular Season, the Cardinals and Arkansas Travelers are tied at the top of the North Division Second Half Standings.
The Cardinals (28-27, 61-62) struck first with an RBI single by 1B Xavier Scruggs in the top of the first, but the RockHounds (22-33, 55-70) answered with six runs in the bottom of the opening frame. Midland loaded the bases with only one away, leading to a three-run triple by 2B Tyler Ladendorf. Back-to-back RBI doubles from 3B Jefry Marte and 1B Max Muncy added to the advantage, before an RBI single from LF Conner Crumbliss later in the inning capped the charge for the 6-1 lead.
Springfield started chipping the deficit down right away in the top of the second. With one down, SS Luis Mateo singled and C Case Rasmus walked, putting two runners on. CF James Ramsey ripped an RBI single to center field, plating Mateo and leading to an error on CF Chad Oberacker, which enabled Rasmus to come in on the play as well. Ramsey ended up getting all the way to third base on the miscue, before charging home one out later on an RBI single by 3B Ruben Gotay to make it just a 6-4 deficit.
An RBI fielder's choice by DH Cody Stanley in the top of the fifth brought the Cardinals within just one run, but the RockHounds responded with one run in the sixth and three more in the eighth, opening up a five run lead. With two on and one away in the bottom of the eighth inning, three consecutive RBI singles by Marte, Muncy and C Beau Taylor stretched the advantage to 10-5.
The Cardinals, though, refused to go down quietly, racing back with five runs in the top of the ninth inning. With one down, Stanley worked a walk and LF Starlin Rodriguez singled, putting two runners on base. Mateo followed with an RBI single, plating Stanley from second and moving Rodriguez to second base. Rasmus bounced into a fielder's choice, but 1B Max Muncy fired an errant throw high to second base, enabling everyone to be safe with the bases loaded. Ramsey followed with an RBI base hit to right field, scoring Rodriguez and keeping the bases full. After a strikeout, Gotay came through with his fourth single of the game, a two-out, RBI base hit to bring the Cardinals within two runs of tying it. With the bases full and two down, Scruggs lined a two-run single to right field, driving in Rasmus and Ramsey to tie the game. RHP Brett Hunter (W, 1-1) took over on the mound to face RF Stephen Piscotty with runners at second and third. Piscotty lined the ball to the right side, but 2B Taylor Ladendorf made a leaping grab to rob Piscotty of the go-ahead base hit and keep it a 10-10 tie.
Facing RHP Kevin Thomas (L, 6-4), Midland RF Josh Whitaker led off the bottom of the ninth with a base hit. Whitaker moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, bringing up Ladendorf. The Cardinals attempted to intentionally walk Ladendorf, but the first intentional ball got away from Thomas for a wild pitch, moving Whitaker to third base. Thomas switched to pitching to Ladendorf, who placed a game-winning RBI single through the drawn-in infield, scoring Whitaker for the 11-10 walk-off win for Midland.
Click here for the complete box score from Saturday's game.
The Cardinals conclude the six-game Texas road trip in Midland on Sunday at 6pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7 FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
Springfield then returns home for a four-game home series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, starting on Tuesday, August 20. That Tuesday is a Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day with delicious hot dogs for just a buck each, along with a 7:09pm First Pitch.
That series against the Naturals will also feature a Wednesday night contest on Wednesday, August 21, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and a Johnsonville "Buck a Brat" Night on Thursday, August 22. The series wraps up with the American National Back-to-Back Texas League Player of the Year T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500) and an AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring Top 40 Music on Friday, August 23. First Pitch each night is 7:09pm, with gates opening 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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