SPRINGFIELD, MO - Corpus Christi washed away early offensive frustrations Wednesday night by scoring seven times from the sixth through the eighth in a 7-4 triumph over the Cardinals at Hammons Field.
David Rollins earned the start for the Hooks (3-4, 37-40) and held Springfield to two hits over four scoreless innings.
Travis Ballew entered in the fifth and allowed three runs on three hits and three walks. The big blow was a two-run knock by Mike O'Neill with the bases loaded. Brady Rodgers came on to face Cody Stanley and surrendered a deep fly ball to left field. Leo Heras tracked it down and made a tremendous catch to limit the damage to a sac fly. Rodgers then struck out Jonathan Rodriguez to end the three-run frame.
With one away in the sixth, Heras and Andrew Aplin executed a double steal to produce Corpus Christi's first run. The Hooks notched a club-record seven stolen bases on the night. Rene Garcia cut the Cards' lead to 3-2 with a two-out RBI single to right.
Garcia's knock also ended the night of Springfield (3-4, 37-40) right-hander Sam Gaviglio, who walked five over 5.2 innings.
In the seventh, Tony Kemp, making his Double-A debut, stroked a double that bounced over the wall in right-center. Ryan Sherriff (2-2) then relieved Mitch Harris to face Ruben Sosa, who seared a triple over the head of O'Neill in center, tying the game. Following a two-out walk by Jonathan Meyer, Leo Heras beat out an infield hit and Delino DeShields, Jr., sent a single to left, putting the Hooks up by two.
Logan Billbrough walked three and allowed two hits in the eighth, handing Corpus Christi a 7-3 edge. Jio Mier ignited the rally with a lead-off double to center field.
Rodgers (3-9) retired the first eight men he faced before back-to-back base hits by Aledmys Diaz and Cody Stanley opened the eighth. The runners advanced on a fly ball to center in the next at-bat. DeShields then made an over-the-shoulder grab before slamming into the centerfield fence. The effort robbed Curt Smith of extra bases, while limiting the Cards to one run. Tyson Perez later struck out David Popkins with the bases loaded to end the inning.
With two away in the ninth, consecutive infield knocks by Diaz and Stanley gave Springfield life. Perez induced a ground ball to short to end the game and notch his second save.
Springfield sends Mike Mayers (0-1, 4.50) to the hill Thursday night. Corpus Christi counters with Jordan Jankowski (1-2, 3.60). First pitch is 7:10.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.