Midland, TX - The Midland RockHounds claimed a back-and-forth season opener, 6-5, against the Springfield Cardinals before 5,373 fans at Security Bank Ballpark on Thursday night.
After the RockHounds (1-0) jumped in front, 2-0, with a pair of first inning tallies against Springfield RHP Jake Woodford, making his Double-A debut, the Cardinals (0-1) powered even in the top of the fourth. Facing RHP Joel Seddon, C Andrew Knizner and 1B John Nogowski clobbered back-to-back solo home runs, swinging Springfield into a 2-2 tie.
However, the 'Hounds responded with an RBI double from DH Brett Siddall and an RBI single from SS Eli White in the bottom of the fourth, reclaiming the lead, 4-2.
Woodford closed the fourth with no further damage, concluding his Springfield debut with four runs on seven hits while striking out one in four frames.
Nogowski brought the Cardinals one run closer, 5-4, with an RBI double in the top of the fifth, part of a 3x4 performance for the first baseman.
Springfield then catapulted in front with a pair of runs in the sixth. CF Lane Thomas, in his Double-A debut, led off with a double to left-center. New Cardinals RF Granden Goetzman then tattooed a game-tying RBI triple to right-center field, plating Thomas for the 5-5 tie. Two outs later with Goetzman still at third, 2B Tommy Edman notched his third hit of the day, a two-out RBI single that plated Goetzman for the 6-5 Springfield lead.
RHP Chris Ellis kept the lead intact through his second straight perfect inning in the sixth and navigated through a scoreless seventh.
Midland, though, had one last rally in the eighth. A one-out single from C Sean Murphy chased Ellis and led to LHP Jacob Evans (L, 0-1) taking over. Siddall singled against Evans putting runners at the corners, before 3B Mikey White tied it at 5-5 with an RBI sacrifice fly. A 2B J.P. Sportman single advanced pinch-running OF Brett Vertigan to second, followed by a go-ahead RBI double from CF Skye Bolt, lifting the RockHounds ahead, 6-5.
LF Thomas Spitz led off the top of the ninth with a single and got as far as third base, but Midland RHP J.B. Wendelken (S, 1) escaped trouble to close the 6-5 win for the RockHounds. RHP Sam Bragg (W, 1-0) logged 2.1 scoreless relief innings to earn the win for Midland.
Individual Game Tickets Now On Sale + The KY3 65-Degree Guarantee for Opening Day
The Springfield Cardinals are excited to announce that Individual Game Tickets for all 2018 Home Games are now available for purchase.
Opening Day at Hammons Field is only seven days away on Thursday, April 12 vs. the Midland Rockhounds, a night that also plays host to the KY3 65-Degree Guarantee.
KY3 and the Cardinals GUARANTEE that the temperature will be at least 65 degrees when pregame ceremonies start (approx. 6:30pm) on April 12 for Opening Day. If the temperature is under 65 degrees, all fans with a valid ticket to Opening Day will receive an extra ticket for any other Springfield Cardinals game during the month of April, courtesy of KY3! Head to SpringfieldCardinals.com for additional details.
A packed Promotional Schedule for the 2018 season means every game is a chance to make a lasting memory with your family and friends.
With seven bobblehead giveaways, seven wearable giveaways, eight Busch Stadium Exclusive giveaways, nine Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Days, nine Klement's $1 Bratwurst Nights, five Thursday Pre-Game Happy Hours, five Foodie Fridays and 16 fireworks nights, there's no better spot in Springfield than Hammons Field to entertain friends and family all season long.
Individual Game Tickets for 2018 Regular Season Home Games range from $7 - $49.
To order Individual Game tickets for all 2018 Home Games, click the link below or call the Ticket Office at (417) 863-2143.
Click to book your 2018 Cardinals Baseball Experience!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.