Springfield, MO - The Arkansas Travelers took the opening game of the series against the Springfield Cardinals, 14-5, before 5,392 fans at Hammons Field on Thursday night.
The Travs (2-1, 35-37) got off to a quick start, striking for the game's first run in the top of the first against LHP Jonathan Cornelius (L, 0-2). After a RF Randal Grichuk double and a fly out by 2B Taylor Lindsey, LF Luis Montanez bounced an RBI single through the middle, plating Grichuk for the 1-0 lead.
After Arkansas added a second run on a fielding miscue in the top of the second, the Cardinals (2-1, 35-36) got on the board in the bottom of the third frame against RHP Mike Piazza (W, 3-2). C Cody Stanley and 2B Luis Mateo started the stanza with consecutive singles, putting runners at the corners. LF Mike O'Neill then drove an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, bringing in Stanley from third base to cut it to just a 2-1 deficit.
However, the Travelers responded with three runs in the top of the fourth. With the bases clear and two away, CF Travis Witherspoon worked a walk to keep the inning going. C Jett Bandy followed with an RBI triple to right-center field, plating Witherspoon from first base. RF Randal Grichuk then dealt a two-run shot to left field, stretching the lead to 5-1.
Arkansas kept the attack going in the top of the fifth against LHP Anthony Ferrara. Montanez welcomed Ferrara to the game with a solo home run to start the inning, before 1B CJ Cron worked a walk. 3B Kaleb Cowart then hit a two-run homer to left field, making it 8-1.
Cardinals 3B Ruben Gotay crushed a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Travs responded with three in the top of the eighth. A pair of RBI singles by Montanez and 3B Kaleb Cowart along with an RBI sacrifice fly by SS Jimmy Swift stretched the lead to 11-2.
The Cardinals refused to go down without a fight, striking for three more in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded and one down, SS Jake Lemmerman worked an RBI walk to force in Gotay from third base. An RBI fielder's choice by Stanley and an RBI single by 2B Luis Mateo further decreased the deficit to 11-5.
However, the Travelers had one last rally, plating three more in the top of the ninth to account for the 14-5 final score in the Arkansas win.
Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.
Don't miss a phenomenal AM Pyrotechnics Summer Kickoff Fireworks Show following this Friday's 7:09pm game against the Travs. We're celebrating the start of summer with Beach Rock-N-Roll during the fireworks show. Gates open at 6:09pm.
Then on Saturday, it is the Mid Missouri Credit Union and Fort Leonard Wood Military Appreciation Night, as we salute the men and women who protect our freedom and our way of life. Saturday's game will be followed by a Military Appreciation Fireworks Celebration, and the Cardinals will be wearing Specialty Camo Jerseys during the game. First Pitch is 6:09pm, gates open at 5:09pm.
The Cardinals will wear the Camo Jerseys again on Sunday, and will auction them off during the game to benefit the March of Dimes. Also on Sunday, it is the Vision Clinic and Oakley Sunglasses Oscar Taveras Texas League Player of the Year Bobblehead Giveaway for 2,500 fans. Additionally, Sunday is a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with a free ice cream party for kids before the game, and then all kids can run the bases after the game. First Pitch is 2:09pm, gates open at 1:09pm.
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.