SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Despite temperatures hovering just above freezing at Hammons Field at first pitch, the Cardinals needed a heat check by the end of Sunday's game.
Springfield gave the 2,574 fans in attendance a show in the cold air. Eight Cardinals batters recorded at least two hits and the 19 team hits were the most by Springfield since 2014 in a 14-3 shellacking of the Frisco RoughRiders.
Thomas Spitz and John Nogowski finished with three hits, Victor Roache scored three times and Spitz and Andrew Knizner drove in three runs each.
After Spitz, Edmundo Sosa and Lane Thomas loaded the bases for the Cardinals (4-6) with no outs in the first, Knizner unloaded them with a double to the gap in deep right, putting Springfield up 3-2.
Two batters later the Cardinals loaded the bases again. Knizner came home on a wild pitch, and the scoring was capped on a Darren Seferina sacrifice fly to left that scored John Nogowski and gave Springfield a 5-2 lead.
The RoughRiders (3-7) third run came off a Luis La O infield single in the fifth, bringing home Eliezer Alvarez.
Connor Jones (2-0) allowed three runs on five hits and five walks over five-plus innings for the Cardinals, striking out three. Jacob Evans and Tyler Bray allowed just one run on one hit over four innings of relief.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN
The third inning ended. After Frisco starter Brett Martin recovered from his five-run first with a scoreless second, Springfield's bats jumped on Martin again in the third for two more.
Roache singled to leadoff the inning and advanced to second on a one-out single by Darren Seferina. Next, Luke Dykstra singled to left, driving in Roache for his first career Double-A RBI and a 6-2 Cardinals lead.
After advancing to second on Dykstra's single, Seferina scored on a Thomas sacrifice fly to right, giving Springfield a 7-2 lead that Frisco never threatened.
Thomas' hit streak reached 10 games with a single through the right side in the second. In the eighth, Thomas hit his fourth homer of the season, giving the Cardinals an 11-3 lead.
Thomas is now hitting .421 but isn't the only Cardinal with a hot bat. Roache hit his third homer in five games with a two-run shot in the sixth that put the Cardinals up 9-3. Roache had already earlier extended his hit streak to seven games with a single.
Spitz hit his first career Double-A home run by depositing one into Homers Landing in the seventh and extending the Springfield lead to 10-3.
The Cardinals piled three more runs on in the eighth after Thomas' homer for good measure. Goetzman drove in Roache on a triple, Seferina then brought home Goetzman with a single and later scored on a Spitz single, capping the score at 14-3.
Jones has allowed five runs in the first and second innings of his two starts and just one run in the third, fourth and fifth innings … The Cardinals have won four of six games after an 0-4 start.
The Cardinals and RoughRiders meet again Monday at 11:10am. Jake Woodford (0-1) is projected to start for Springfield. Richelson Pena (1-0) is projected as Frisco's starter.
Click here for tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.