Naturals cling to 3-2 win on Thursday

By Springfield Cardinals | June 12, 2014 11:38 PM ET

Springfield, MO - One night after being blanked by the Springfield Cardinals, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals hung on for the 3-2 win before 4,375 fans at Hammons Field on Thursday night.

The Cardinals (31-35) struck against LHP Sam Selman and the Naturals (24-42) in the bottom of the second inning. RF David Popkins started the inning by being hit by a pitch, before 3B Patrick Wisdom singled him to second. After LF Starlin Rodriguez loaded the bases with a single, Selman retired the frame's first out on a fly ball to center. C Travis Tartamella, though, worked an RBI walk next, forcing in Popkins from third base for the 1-0 lead.

RHP Kurt Heyer kept the Cardinals one-run advantage intact through his first five scoreless frames, during which he allowed only one hit, but the Naturals broke through with a pair of tallies in the top of the sixth inning. LF Ethan Chapman led off with a single, quickly motoring to third base on a double by CF Lane Adams. With runners at second and third, SS Orlando Calixte chopped a ground ball up the middle. 2B Jacob Wilson fielded the grounder and threw home to try to get Chapman at the plate, but the throw bounced away with Chapman safe and Adams also being able to race in to score on the miscue, lifting Northwest Arkansas in front, 2-1.

The Cardinals battled it back even right away in the bottom of the sixth. CF James Ramsey started the frame with a line drive ripped right back through the middle, chasing Selman from the mound. RHP Malcom Culver (W, 4-1) took over and induced a sharp groundout from 1B Curt Smith, before RF David Popkins scorched a line drive to right field, moving Ramsey to third. With runners at the corners, Wisdom belted an RBI sacrifice fly that required a jumping catch at the wall from CF Lane Adams to keep it in the ballpark. Despite being robbed of the home run, Wisdom tied it, 2-2, with the sacrifice.

With RHP Seth Blair (L, 3-6) on the mound to start the seventh, Northwest Arkansas charged back in front. After an inning-opening groundout, 2B Angel Franco was hit by a pitch to reach first base. Chapman singled Franco to second base, before Blair got Adams with a strikeout for the second out. However, Calixte lined a single to left field that was bobbled by LF Starlin Rodriguez, with the error enabling Franco to score from second base for the new 3-2 lead.

LHP Scott Alexander kept the Naturals narrow advantage on the board with a scoreless eighth, before RHP Andrew Triggs (S, 7) dealt a 1-2-3 ninth to close the 3-2 win for Northwest Arkansas.

Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.

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Country Music Fireworks, Military Appreciation Night, Military Appreciation Fireworks, Camo Jerseys and more this weekend

The Cardinals continue the homestand with AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring the Superstars of Country Music this Friday. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.

The homestand then wraps up with the Mid Missouri Credit Union / Fort Leonard Wood Military Appreciation Night with Military Appreciation Fireworks after the 6:10pm game on Saturday, June 14, as well as a Camo Themed Jersey Auction during the game to benefit Missouri State University's ROTC. Gates open at 5:10pm.

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