San Antonio, TX - The Springfield Cardinals won a marathon battle against the San Antonio Missions, 8-5, in 14 innings before 6,924 fans at Wolff Stadium on Thursday night. Both SS Aledmys Diaz and RF James Ramsey missed hitting for the cycle by just one hit (a triple for Diaz and a double for Ramsey).
Trailing, 3-1, entering the top of the eighth, the Cardinals (2-5) propelled in front. OF David Popkins led off the inning with a pinch-hit single, before LF Mike O'Neill followed with a base hit to center field. Ramsey then crushed a three-run home run to left field, swinging Springfield to the 4-3 lead.
However, San Antonio (4-3) responded right away in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one on and two down, 1B Lee Orr pulled an RBI double to left-center field, bringing in C Austin Hedges to square the score, 4-4, and eventually lead to extra innings.
Both sides alternated scoreless innings through the 11th, before the Cardinals seized the lead in the top of the 12th. With one away, O'Neill worked a walk and quickly moved to second on a groundout. Diaz then drove an RBI double that brought in O'Neill for the 5-4 lead.
The Missions, though, came right back in the bottom of the 12th to stay alive. 2B Cory Spangenberg started the frame with a single, advancing around to third on a groundout and a base hit throughout the frame. Hedges brought him in with an RBI fielder's choice, making it 5-5 and forcing a 13th inning.
After San Antonio RHP Matt Branham (L, 0-1) and Springfield RHP Logan Billbrough (W, 1-1) both posted a scoreless 13th, the Cardinals reclaimed the lead in the top of the 14th. With one down, O'Neill again sparked the charge with a single. Ramsey quickly brought him in with a go-ahead RBI triple ripped down the right field line, before trotting home on a two-run shot from Diaz, his first professional home run, lifting the Cardinals into the three-run lead.
Billbrough, the seventh Cardinals pitcher of the night, dealt a scoreless bottom of the 14th, closing the 8-5 win for the Cardinals in 14 frames.
Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.
Cardinals kick off next home series on Thursday, April 17
Springfield continues the Texas trip on Friday against San Antonio at 7:05pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
The Cardinals return home to start a four-game home series against the Arkansas Travelers on Thursday, April 17. Thursday's game is a "Buck a Brat" Night with $1 bratwursts at the ballpark. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.
The Cardinals and Travelers square off on Friday, April 18 for game two of the series at 7:10pm. Don't miss a phenomenal AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring One-Hit Wonders after the game. Gates open at 6:10pm.
The series continues on Saturday, April 19 with a 6:10pm First Pitch and the Branson Zipline Flight Crew T-Shirt Giveaway for 2,500 fans. Gates open at 5:10pm, so come early and get one of these one-of-a-kind t-shirts!
The Cards and Travs wrap up the series with a 4:10pm First Pitch on Sunday, April 20. Start the day and your Easter celebration with us at the annual Sunrise Service at Hammons Field. Then in the afternoon, there will be the Easter Egg Hunt EGGstravaganza for 1,000 kids 10-and-under before the game. Gates open at 3:10pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a The Cup Birthday Party or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-2143 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
Click here for the complete 2014 Promotional Schedule and to get your tickets right now.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.