Springfield, MO - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals topped the Springfield Cardinals, 6-0, before 5,257 fans at Hammons Field on Thursday night. The six total pitchers combined to strike out 32 batters in the game, the most ever in a nine-inning game in Texas League history.
The Naturals (20-14, 45-59) got out to a quick start with a leadoff triple from CF Brett Eibner against RHP Seth Blair (L, 3-8) in the top of the first inning. SS Orlando Calixte promptly plated Eibner with an RBI infield single, lifting the Naturals into the 1-0 lead.
Northwest Arkansas doubled the early advantage in the top of the second. DH Lane Adams worked a walk to open the frame, before stealing second base. One out later and after a wild pitch advanced Adams to third, 2B Angel Franco skied an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Adams for the 2-0 lead.
From that point on, both Blair and Naturals RHP Kyle Zimmer (W, 2-0) dominated the opposing offenses. Blair allowed only three more hits through the remainder of his outing, striking out a season-high 11 batters and keeping the Cardinals (16-18, 49-53) within striking distance. However, Zimmer was excellent as well, dealing six scoreless innings with a season-high twelve strikeouts, exiting after the sixth with the Naturals still ahead, 2-0.
Northwest Arkansas added insurance late in the contest with a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth innings. With runners at first and second, an errant pick off attempt followed by a pair of wild pitched plated the two runs in the eighth, before a two-run home run in the ninth to account for the eventual final score of 6-0 in the Naturals win.
Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.
The series continues with a can't-miss AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring Classic Rock Music this Friday after the 7:09pm game. Gates open at 6:09pm.
On Saturday, it's the Hiland Dairy Texas League Championship Ceramic Ice Cream/Cereal Bowl Giveaway (2,500) with a 6:09pm First Pitch. Saturday will also feature the DSGO Step Up for Down Syndrome. Gates open at 5:09pm.
The homestand wraps up with a special evening this Sunday, featuring the Cline Dental Stan Musial Statue Giveaway (2,500). Sunday is also a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with a free ice cream party for kids before the game, and all kids can run the bases after the game. First Pitch is 6:09pm with gates opening at 5:09pm.
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.
Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 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.