Springfield, MO - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals came back with three unearned runs late in the game to claim the 3-1 win against the Springfield Cardinals before 4,894 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.
Springfield LHP Tim Cooney (L, 7-8) and Northwest Arkansas RHP Jason Adam (W, 8-10) both logged a pair of scoreless innings, before the Cardinals (29-29, 62-64) broke through in the bottom of the third inning. 2B Colin Walsh started the stanza with a walk, before DH Matt Williams lined a single to right field that led to an error. RF Jorge Bonifacio bobbled the ball in right field, enabling Walsh to advance to third with Williams getting to second on the play. CF James Ramsey then drove an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Walsh from third for the 1-0 lead.
Cooney kept the Cardinals narrow advantage intact through his first six frames, striking out seven batters. After a groundout and a pair of singles in the top of the seventh, Cooney gave way to RHP Jose Almarante. Almarante logged the second out of the inning with a strikeout against 1B Matt Fields. He then induced a pop up to shallow left field by 2B Whit Merrifield, but LF Starlin Rodriguez missed the catch for an error, enabling both runners to come in and the Naturals (29-29, 54-74) to move in front, 2-1.
Northwest Arkansas added a third unearned run in the top of the eighth. CF Brett Eibner led off with a walk, and then motored around to third base after Almarante tossed an errant pickoff throw by first base. After a lineout and an intentional walk, DH Jorge Rincon lined an RBI single to center field, scoring Eibner for the 3-1 lead.
RHP Kevin Thomas closed the eighth with a strikeout, before striking out the side in the top of the ninth to keep Springfield close. However, LHP Zach Jackson (S, 15) nailed down the 3-1 win for the Naturals with a scoreless bottom of the ninth.
Click here for the complete box score from Wednesday's game.
AT&T and the Cardinals are teaming up to make dreams come true with the AT&T Dreams Come True contest all week long on the Cardinals Facebook Fan Page.
Every morning this week, there will be a new question posted on the Cardinals Fan Page at 9am. Fans have until 1pm each day to post a creative answer to the question in 50 words or less.
The winner of the contest each day will receive the AT&T Dreams Come True Package for the next night's game, including four front row tickets, a Ceremonial First Pitch, a radio interview and the opportunity to watch Batting Practice. Check out the Cardinals Fan Page at 9am each morning for the day's new question.
Click here to visit the Springfield Cardinals Facebook Fan Page.
Don't miss the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and a Johnsonville "Buck a Brat" Night this Thursday. First Pitch is 7:09pm, with gates opening at 6:09pm.
The series wraps up with the American National Back-to-Back Texas League Player of the Year T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500) and an AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring Top 40 Music on Friday. First Pitch each night is 7:09pm, with gates opening at 6:09pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a Cake Pop Company Birthday Party or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-2143 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
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