CORPUS CHRISTI - Ronnie Dawson was a triple shy of the cycle and Corbin Martin fired six innings of two-run ball Saturday night as the Hooks beat the Cardinals, 5-2, before 5,459 fans at Whataburger Field.
Corpus Christi's (29-20, 72-46) victory set the stage for a rubber match Sunday afternoon.
Dawson set the tone launching a 1-1 pitch from Genesis Cabrera over the left-field wall to begin the first inning.
Walks by Chas McCormick and Ryne Birk started the second, and back-to-back doubles by Anibal Sierra and Dawson made it 3-0 Hooks.
Martin struck out the first three batters he faced in the first before stranding two in the second.
Andy Young's RBI double in the third put Springfield (21-28, 54-65) on the scoreboard. Martin (7-2) settled in after the Young double, retiring eight in a row. He struck out eight on the night.
A pair of wild pitches in the seventh helped the Cards muster their second marker.
The Hooks, who got a sac fly from Carmen Benedetti in the fourth, notched an insurance run in the eighth. McCormick drew a lead-off walk from Will Latcham, and then scored from first on a double by Lorenzo Quintana.
Kit Scheetz spun two innings of scoreless relief for Corpus Christi. Alex Winkelman, who induced a 6-4-3 double play in the ninth, picked up his fourth save.
Hooks send right-hander Akeem Bostick (1-4, 3.74) to the mound Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals counter with Anthony Shew (6-6, 4.09).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.