Springfield, MO - DH Dickie Joe Thon delivered the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th to send the Springfield Cardinals to the 4-3 walk-off win against the Arkansas Travelers before 5,843 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
The Cardinals (33-34) seized the lead right out of the gates in the bottom of the first against RHP Lindsey Caughel. CF Oscar Mercado led off with an infield single, before racing to second on a groundout from LF Magneuris Sierra. Mercado then swiped third base for his 22nd steal of the year, followed by a free pass from 2B Bruce Caldwell to put runners at the corners. Caughel dug in with a strikeout for the inning's second out, but 1B Jacob Wilson pulled a two-out RBI single through the left side, scoring Mercado for the 1-0 lead.
Cardinals RHP Zac Gallen kept the one-run lead intact through his first five scoreless innings, but Arkansas (32-35) broke through in the top of the sixth. SS Joey Wong led off with a single and stayed put as brand-new SS Edmundo Sosa reeled in a tailing line drive with a sliding catch behind second base. However, the next batter, DH Dario Pizzano, pelted an RBI double off the left-center field fence, plating Wong all the way from first base to tie the game, 1-1.
The Cardinals, though, came right back and reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one away, 3B Casey Turgeon singled himself on to chase Caughel and lead to RHP Blake Perry entering the game. Perry retired Mercado, but LF Magneuris Sierra chopped an RBI double down the right field line, bringing home Turgeon for the 2-1 Cardinals lead.
After Gallen and LHP Corey Littrell combined for a scoreless top of the seventh, the Cardinals extended the lead in the bottom of the frame. With one away, Wilson launched a solo home run to left field, adding to his team-leading total of nine long-balls and making it a 3-1 lead.
The Travs, though, battled it back even in the top of the eighth. Pizzano led off with a walk, before Littrell dug in with a strikeout. However, a C Marcus Littlewood slugged a two-run home run to left field, setting up the 3-3 tie that led to extra innings after a scoreless ninth from both sides.
Both clubs navigated through a scoreless ninth and 10th, before the Cardinals struck one more time in the bottom of the 11th. Facing RHP Thyago Vieira (L, 2-2), Caldwell opened the inning with a double off the very top of the left field fence. Vieira battled back by retiring the next two batter, but then DH Dickie Joe Thon knocked an RBI single just out of the sliding range of 2B Jeff Kobernus, bringing home Caldwell and propelling the Cardinals to the 4-3 walk-off win in 11 innings. RHP Corey Baker (W, 2-1) dealt 2.1 scoreless relief innings to register the win for Springfield.
Alex Reyes #1 Pitching Prospect Bobbleheads continue the homestand on Saturday, June 17
The Cardinals continue the huge homestand at Hammons Field with home games every day through Sunday, June 25. Don't miss any of the fun, including:
-Saturday, June 17, 6:10pm - Vision Clinic Alex Reyes #1 Pitching Prospect Bobblehead Giveaway (2,000) and Specialty Jersey Auction to benefit Isabel's House. Gates open at 5:10pm.
-Sunday, June 18, 4:10pm - Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases. Gates open at 3:10pm.
-Monday, June 19, 6:30pm - Monday Night Baseball vs. the Tulsa Drillers. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Tuesday, June 20, 6:30pm - Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Wednesday, June 21, 11:10am - Day Baseball, Chamber of Commerce Networking Day and Summer School Discovery Center Science Educational Day. Gates open at 10:10am.
-Thursday, June 22, 7:10pm - American National Dexter Fowler 2008 Texas League All-Star Bobblehead Giveaway (2,000) and Klement's "Buck a Brat" Night. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Friday, June 23, 7:10pm - AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks with Songs from Musicals. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Saturday, June 24, 6:10pm - Mercy Dry Fit Shirt Giveaway (2,000), Infuze Credit Union / Fort Leonard Wood Military Appreciation Night, Military Appreciation Fireworks Celebration and Specialty Camo Jersey Auction to benefit MSU ROTC. Gates open at 5:10pm.
-Sunday, June 25, 2:10pm - Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases. Gates open at 1:10pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a 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 2017 Promotional Schedule and to order 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.