Heyer elevates Birds to 2-1 victory

By Cameron Varnau / Frisco RoughRiders | August 7, 2014 11:49 PM ET

FRISCO, TEXAS (August 7, 2014) - Springfield defeated Frisco 2-1 on Thursday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark behind five strong innings by Kurt Heyer. Patrick Cantwell reached base safely four times and scored the lone run for Frisco in the loss.

Both teams only managed to pick up a pair of base hits through the first three frames as pitching and defense set the tone early. Springfield picked up their first hit in the form of a leadoff single to left but Frisco starter Jerad Eickhoff retired his next three hitters.

Frisco (27-20, 67-49) got their first man aboard when Cantwell was hit by pitch, his Texas League leading 15th hit-by-pitch, but the 'Riders could not bat him around.

The Cardinals (19-27, 53-63) picked up a one-out double via Rafael Ortega and the runner advanced on a wild pitch. It appeared that he would score when David Popkins attempted to bunt-squeeze his runner home, but Ortega was caught in a run down and was tagged out before he could cross the dish.

Cantwell and Jorge Alfaro hit consecutive one-out singles in the third but Heyer buckled down to limit the damage and keep the run column clean.

Springfield drew first blood in the top of the fifth with a pair of back-to-back two-out doubles. Breyvic Valera skied a double off the wall in deep right for the first two-bagger and Cody Stanley hit a ball that took a nasty hop over the head of Trever Adams at first. Valera motored around to score easily and Stanley stretched the hit into an RBI double and put his club up 1-0.

The visiting team made it 2-0 when Jonathan Rodriguez singled to right for his 82nd hit and 42nd RBI in the following at-bat.

Patrick Wisdom drew a four-pitch walk to put four consecutive batters on for Eickhoff and the 'Riders, and Jason Wood signaled to the bullpen to call in Martire Garcia, who got Ortega to ground out to second on the first pitch.

Eickhoff (9-8) pitched 4 2/3 innings, gave up two earned runs on five hits, walked four and struck out five, threw two wild pitches and tossed 57 of his 99 pitches for strikes.

Heyer's (4-10) outing was complete after five innings in which he issued four hits and one earned run with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw two wild pitches, hit Cantwell twice, and threw 66 of his 91 pitches for strikes.

Halfway through the contest Frisco found their way on the scoreboard. A pitch hit Cantwell for the second time in the game, this time on the head, and he advanced first-to-third when Alfaro singled to center.

Odubel Herrera hit a routine double-play ball to Matt Williams, who fired to Valera at second, but the throw to first could not be picked out of the dirt and Cantwell scored while the inning was kept alive.

The RoughRiders had a golden opportunity to tie the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh but could not execute. Cantwell smoked a leadoff double into the right field corner and was un-intentionally sacrificed to third when Hanser Alberto grounded out to short.

With Herrera on first after getting hit by a pitch, Adams hit a grounder to Rodriguez at first who fired home to nail down a sliding Cantwell at the plate. That play kept the Cardinals up 2-1 and Frisco was not able to mount anything else in the frame.

Frisco had yet another opportunity to tie the game at 2-2 in the eighth, but a couple of accurate relay throws nailed down Teodoro Martinez at the plate. Martinez singled and attempted to score from first when Alberto doubled to deep left.

The centerfielder, Ortega, dove in an attempt to catch the ball, but it dropped under his glove and rolled further into the outfield. Ortega chased it down, fired a strike to Valera, who then fired a strike home to catch Martinez and hold onto the slim 2-1 lead.

Joey Donofrio (8) earned the save by getting the 'Riders to go down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

The RoughRiders now turns it's attention to the visiting Tulsa Drillers who come to Frisco for the first game of a three-game series on Friday at 7:05 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Left-hander Andrew Faulker (1-0, 2.45 ERA) takes the bump for the 'Riders and faces off against Drillers' righty Richard Castillo (3-9, 5.00 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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