Tyler O'Neill enjoys having a game's outcome riding on his bat.
The Cardinals' No. 4 prospect collected three hits and drove in four runs to lift Triple-A Memphis to an 11-8, 10-inning win over Colorado Springs on Saturday. The victory evened the best-of-5 Pacific Coast League semifinals at two games apiece with the deciding contest scheduled for Sunday.
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"I feel rejuvenated right now," O'Neill said. "The games have been exciting and we're playing our best right now. I love playing in high-stakes situations and have always wanted to have the opportunity to come up in big spots."
The Redbirds trailed 3-0 after a two-run double by Tyler Heineman and an RBI single by Kyle Wren in the second.
In the fifth, Jose Adolis Garcia put Memphis on the board with a solo homer. Wilfredo Tovar added an RBI single and Patrick Wisdom came home on a double play by Jeremy Martinez to tie the score, 3-3.
"He can definitely play the game," O'Neill said of Garcia. "He's a very exciting player and can do it all, whether it's hit, field or run. Having him hit behind me right now, we've got a nice little combo going."
An error by Martinez in the fifth allowed Nate Orf to score and Heineman's solo shot in the sixth put the Sky Sox up, 5-3. That's when MLB.com's No. 93 overall prospect asserted himself.
After an RBI double by Nick Martini drew Memphis within one, O'Neill stroked a two-run double to center field and scored on a double by Garcia.
Video: Memphis' O'Neill hits two-run double
"We were down at the time so I wanted to keep it simple and get a good pitch to hit," the British Columbia native said. "I got something I could do some damage with and got the bat on it."
Wren answered with a two-run shot in the eighth make it a 7-7 game.
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While extra innings in an elimination game isn't an ideal situation, Memphis went 11-0 in extra innings during the regular season.
Colorado Springs reliever Wily Peralta (0-1) loaded the bases with one out in the 10th before a four-pitch walk to Martini gave Memphis the lead. After a wild pitch let Magneuris Sierra cross the plate, O'Neill lined a single to left that drove in Martinez and Martini.
The winner of Sunday's tilt will meet El Paso in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series.
"It's going to be a high-intensity game," O'Neill said of Game 5. "Every one of our pitchers and our hitters are ready to play and do what we have to do to win."