Hundley's homers give Missions edge

Catcher drives in all three runs in Game 3 victory over Cards

(Shawn E. Davis/

September 14, 2007 9:19 PM ET

Nick Hundley provided all the offense and some of the defense, too.

Hundley homered twice Friday to power the San Antonio Missions to a 3-2 win over the Springfield Cardinals and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 Texas League Championship Series.

The 24-year-old catcher launched a solo shot in the fifth inning and cranked a two-run blast in the seventh.

"Game 3 is the big swing game," he said. "We definitely need it. We were excited. Everybody is really focused and has a sense of purpose."

The 2005 second-round draft pick of San Diego had three multi-homer games during the regular season, including a two-game stretch in August at Frisco, where he went deep four times. This time around, the two roundtrippers gave the Missions a win at Hammons Field, where they will play Game 4 on Sunday.

"It's huge," said. "They came into our place and split with us. We needed to make a statement. It was an amazing crowd."

Hundley also was instrumental on defense, helping starter Wade LeBlanc (2-0) work around a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.

"I told him, 'Stay through me,' he was trying to do too much," Hundley said. "You can't get concerned. There's no place for nervousness. Your blood is going to pump a little harder."

LeBlanc yielded one run on three hits, fanning six and walking four over six innings.

"LeBlanc just located his fastball," Hundley said. "When he can locate his pitches, he keeps hitters honest. Our bullpen has been lights-out."

Edwin Moreno earned his second save with a perfect ninth. He got some help from second baseman Matt Antonelli, who slid to stop pinch-hitter Mark Shorey's grounder and threw himout to end the game.

Mark Hamilton belted a solo homer, his fourth of the postseason, in the third and Colby Rasmus laced an RBI double in the seventh for Springfield.

Cardinals starter P.J. Walters (0-1) gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts over seven frames.

Michael Blinn is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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