Springdale, AR - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals edged the Springfield Cardinals with a walk-off 3-2 win before 2,646 fans at Arvest Ballpark on Tuesday night. Naturals 1B Mark Threlkeld provided the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Cardinals (9-9) struck first in the top of the third inning against RHP Tim Melville. RF Rafael Ortega worked a one-out walk to get a runner on. One out later, 2B Aledmys Diaz ripped an RBI double to left field, bringing Ortega all the way in from first base for the 1-0 lead.
RHP Seth Blair kept the Cards in front until the bottom of the fourth when the Naturals (5-13) squared the score. CF Lane Adams pulled the inning's first pitch over the left field wall for a game-tying solo home run to make it 1-1.
With Blair still on the mound in the seventh, Northwest Arkansas took their first lead of the series. 2B Whit Merrifield led off with a double, before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a walk, LF Ethan Chapman skied an RBI sacrifice fly to left-center field, scoring Merrifield for the 2-1 advantage.
The Cardinals, though, tied it up right away in the top of the eighth. Facing RHP Malcom Culver (W, 2-1), 1B Jonathan Rodriguez led off the inning with a solo blast, evening it at 2-2.
RHP Joey Donofrio tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth for the Cardinals, before Culver countered in the top of the ninth by working out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in scoreless fashion.
RHP Ronnie Shaban (L, 0-1) took over for the bottom of the ninth, retiring the first two batters in quick fashion. However, Threlkeld struck with the solo home run that lifted the Naturals to the 3-2 walk-off win.
Click here for the complete box score from Tuesday's game.
Cardinals return for 8-game homestand starting on Tuesday, April 29
The Cardinals continue the road trip against the Naturals on Wednesday at 11:05am. 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 an eight-game homestand on Tuesday, April 29 with a Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day at 7:10pm. The homestand will feature three educational days (4/30, 5/5, 5/6), the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals National League Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and a "Buck a Brat" Night on Thursday, May 1, AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring Music from the 90s on Friday, May 2, the Price Cutter and Bar-S Foods 10th Season T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500) on Saturday, May 3 and much, much more. Click below to view the complete schedule.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.