Springfield, MO - The Corpus Christi Hooks took the middle game of the series, 8-5, against the Springfield Cardinals before 2,629 fans at Hammons Field on Monday night.
After a perfect first inning by LHP Jonathan Cornelius (L, 0-1), Corpus Christi (4-1) jumped into a three-run lead in the top of the second. 3B Matt Duffy started the stanza with a double and then moved to third on a base hit from LF Preston Tucker. 2B Enrique Hernandez followed with an RBI single that brought in Duffy and moved Tucker to second. Both runners then advanced on an errant pick-off attempt by Cornelius, before an RBI groundout from C Rene Garcia and an RBI single by SS Jio Mier stretched the lead to 3-0.
The Cardinals (1-4) responded with a pair of runs against LHP Colton Cain in the bottom of the third. RF Rafael Ortega and SS Matt Williams sparked the rally with back-to-back base hits. After a strikeout, CF James Ramsey reached on an infield single that loaded the bases for DH Aledmys Diaz. Diaz skied an RBI sacrifice fly to center field that brought in Ortega to get the Cards on the board. With two on and two down, 1B Jonathan Rodriguez came through with a screaming RBI single to left field, scoring Williams and bringing Springfield within one run, 3-2.
Springfield swung in front in the bottom of the fourth. After a 3B Patrick Wisdom leadoff single and a strikeout dealt by Cain, RF Rafael Ortega crushed a two-run home run over the right field wall, propelling the Cardinals to the 4-3 lead.
However, the Hooks rebounded with two runs in the fifth. After loading the bases with no outs, DH Joe Sclafani brought in the frame's first run with an RBI fielder's choice. Corpus Christi then reclaimed the lead when RF Andrew Aplin bounced an RBI groundout to first base, bringing in the go-ahead run to make it 5-4.
The Hooks added insurance runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth, opening an 8-4 advantage before Springfield struck in the bottom of the ninth. With one away and the bases clear, CF James Ramsey launched a solo home run to left-center field, bringing the Cardinals within three runs. One out later, Rodriguez belted a double, but RHP Brady Rodgers (S, 1) induced a game-ending groundout to close the 8-5 win for the Hooks.
Click here for the complete box score from Monday's game.
The Opening Homestand concludes with Morning Baseball on Tuesday!
The Cardinals and Hooks wrap up the series with morning baseball on Tuesday. First Pitch on Tuesday will be 11:10am for the CoxHealth Healthy Living Educational Day and Cardinals Leadership Forum. Tuesday is also a Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day, so join us for lunch! Gates open at 10:10am.
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