June 3, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Springfield Cardinals
Springfield, MO - The 1st-place Springfield Cardinals guaranteed their second straight series win with a 3-2 victory against the San Antonio Missions before 6,545 fans at Hammons Field on Saturday evening. Springfield is 4-1 on the homestand, improving their division-leading home record to 16-10 on the year.
The Cardinals (29-24) got the bats going in the bottom of the first, striking against RHP Chris Huffman. Leading off the inning, CF Oscar Mercado belted a solo home run to left field, his seventh long-ball of the season, opening the early 1-0 lead for Springfield.
The Cardinals doubled the lead in the bottom of the second. SS Alex Mejia started the stanza with his league-leading 17th double of the year. A base hit from 1B Danny Diekroeger moved Mejia to third base, before he came home the final ninety feet on an RBI sacrifice fly from 2B Dickie Joe Thon for the 2-0 lead.
RHP Sandy Alcantara kept the two-run lead intact through his first five scoreless frames, but San Antonio (30-25) swung onto the board in the top of the sixth. With one away, 2B Jose Rondon singled himself aboard. The next batter, RF Nick Torres, drove a deep fly ball to the wall in right field, but was robbed by a jumping catch from RF Adolis Garcia for the second out in the inning. However, 3B Ty France pelted an RBI double off the left field fence, bringing in Rondon from first base to cut the Missions deficit to 2-1.
San Antonio then completed the comeback in the top of the seventh with an unearned run against RHP Tyler Bray (W, 2-0). CF Auston Bousfield started the frame with a base hit. C A.J. Kennedy then grounded into a fielder's choice with a bouncer to short, but SS Alex Mejia's flip pulled 2B Dickie Joe Thon off the bag, enabling everyone to be safe at first and second. A sacrifice bunt from pinch-hitting INF River Stevens advanced the runners, before SS Luis Urias brought in Bousfield with an RBI groundout to third base, squaring the score at 2-2.
Bray kept the tie intact with a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, before the Cardinals reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the eighth against RHP T.J. Weir (L, 1-1). With one down, RF Adolis Garcia and 3B Jacob Wilson knocked consecutive singles, putting runners at the corners for Mejia. Mejia came through with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, enabling Garcia to tag and race home for the 3-2 Springfield lead.
RHP Pedro Echemendia (S, 4) took over for the top of the ninth and quickly slammed the door, dealing a perfect final frame to close the 3-2 win for the Cardinals.