San Antonio erupted for five runs in the eighth to pull out an important 8-5 win over Springfield in Thursday night's series finale at Wolff Stadium.
The Missions entered Thursday hoping to avoid their first ever home sweep at the hands of the Cardinals. Springfield looked poised to finally pull off the feat early on in the finale, striking for a pair of first innings runs off San Antonio righty Jacob Nix. The Cardinals upped the lead to 3-0 in the third when Nix uncorked a wild pitch that scored Randy Arozarena.
San Antonio got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, trimming the deficit to 3-2 on a Ty France single and a wild pitch from starter Zac Gallen.
Nix, making his first Wolff start since arriving from High-A Lake Elsinore, was solid in his six innings, allowing four runs and two walks, while punching out six.
Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, San Antonio once again drew within one when catcher Webster Rivas singled off reliever Andrew Morales.
The Cards looked like they regained control of the game with a run in the eighth off Cesar Vargas (2-3) to go back up two.
Fortunately, for the Wolff crowd of 4,154, the first-place Missions had another rally in them. Franmil Reyes started things off with a one-out single off Morales. After a wild pitch moved Reyes to second, Auston Bousfield put runners on the corners with a single. Nick Torres came in to pinch hit for Vargas and delivered a clutch single to right that drove in Reyes to make the score 5-4. Springfield lifted Morales (1-1) for Landon Beck, but the change did little to slow down the San Antonio momentum. Luis Urias greeted Beck with a game-tying, RBI-single to left. After a wild pitch moved Torres and Urias into scoring position, the Cards elected to intentionally walk Javier Guerra to load the bases.
That brought up Josh Naylor, who cleared the bags with a double to left, giving the Missions the only lead they would need. Naylor finished with a game-high three hits as San Antonio racked up 14 overall.
All-Star closer Trey Wingenter punched out two in a perfect ninth to notch his league-leading 16th save of the season.
San Antonio (27-19, 68-48) continues its six-game homestand Friday at 7:05 PM with the first of three against Tulsa (29-18, 62-55). Lefty Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 2.08) will get the ball for the Missions in the opener, while the Drillers counter with right-hander Scott Barlow (5-3, 2.09). The first 1,500 fans to enter The Wolff will receive a FREE Missions Country Cap courtesy of IPAC Ram.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.