SPRINGFIELD, MO - The bottom third of Springfield's lineup accounted for five runs Friday night as the Cardinals claimed the three-game series with a 6-2 decision before 6,009 at Hammons Field.
Springfield survived seven walks, stranded seven and utilized a trio of double plays.
Mike O'Neill set the tone with a triple past a drawn-in first baseman Carlos Perdomo to open the first. Mike Hauschild then struck out Aledmys Diaz but surrendered a sac fly by Cody Stanley for a 1-0 Cardinals lead.
In the fourth, back-to-back singles by Patrick Wisdom and Breyvic Valera opened the frame. Following a sac bunt, Matt Williams snuck a single through the left side, plating a pair.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Cornelius held the Hooks to one hit thru the first five innings. He ran into trouble in the sixth, walking Ruben Sosa with one out. Tony Kemp followed with a bunt base hit, bringing Delino DeShields, Jr., to the plate. DeShields belted a 1-2 pitch deep to left field and the ball glanced off the glove of O'Neill, who was racing toward the fence. The double, Corpus Christi's lone extra-base hit of the night, put the Hooks on the board. Kemp scored the second run thanks to a sac fly by Andrew Aplin.
Springfield added insurance in the sixth. Hauschild got the first two outs but back-to-back singles preceded consecutive doubles by Starlin Rodriguez and O'Neill, pushing the Cards lead to 6-2.
Hauschild did not walk a batter and struck out seven over 5.2 innings.
Ronnie Shaban relieved Cornelius in the seventh and issued a pair of free passes. Mitch Harris came on with two out and walked Sosa, loading the bases. Kemp worked the count to 1-1 before launching a deep drive to center. Starlin Rodriguez raced onto the warning track and made a tumbling, back-peddling grab for the final out, robbing Kemp of extra bases and saving three runs.
Corpus Christi opens a three-game series against the Drillers at ONEOK Field on Saturday night. Lefty Ryan Kulik (0-0, 5.14) is slated to pitch for Tulsa. The Hooks counter with the tandem of Tommy Shirley (5-3, 1.90) and Kyle Smith (2-2, 3.78).