June 26, 2010 - Texas League (TL) - Tulsa Drillers
The Springfield Cardinals rallied from four runs down to pull within one run of the Drillers lead, but Tulsa reliever Scott Rice shut down any hopes of a Redbirds late inning rally. Faced with the runners on the corners and one out, Rice got out of the eighth inning jam and secured a 6-5 victory for the Tulsa Drillers Friday night at Hammons Field.
Tulsa held a 6-2 advantage in the fifth inning, but the Cards scored runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth to put pressure on the Drillers.
Springfield had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth, but could not complete the comeback. Adron Chambers singled and scored on a single by Jose Garcia. Aaron Luna then reached on a fielder's choice that put runners on first and third with one out. Tulsa manager Ron Gideon called upon reliever Scott Rice to get out of the threat and that is just what he did. Rice struck out Daryl Jones and got Pete Kozma to ground out to end the inning and hold the slim 6-5 lead.
The Cardinals put the tying run on base in the ninth inning thanks to a Tulsa error, but Rice was able to get the dangerous Steven Hill to groundout to end the game and record his third save of the season.
A lead off home run by Hill in the bottom of the second inning scored the first run of the game and gave Springfield a 1-0 lead.
Tulsa responded in the top of the third as Scott Beerer belted a solo home run over the left-centerfield wall to tie the game at 1-1.
The Cardinals fought right back as they retook a 2-1 advantage in the third when Pete Kozma singled and eventually scored on a base hit by Hill.
The Drillers offense fired off five straight hits in the fourth inning to push their lead to 4-2. Matt Repec and Lars Davis singled before Bruce Billings helped his own cause with a run-scoring single that plated Repec. Charlie Blackmon followed with a single that allowed Davis to score and Jason Van Kooten scored Billings with a double.
Tulsa added two runs in the fifth to push the score to 6-2. Daniel Mayora singled and Kiel Roling reached on an error that allowed both runners to move to second and third. Repec then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Mayora and Roling came home on a base hit by Blackmon.
Springfield' Matt Carpenter walked in the fifth and scored on a double by Curt Smith to cut the lead to 6-3.
Jones led off the seventh inning against reliever Andy Graham and promptly drove a home run over the left field wall to pull the Cardinals closer at 6-4.
Ryan Harvey, Blackmon and Billings each led the Drillers offense with two hits apiece.
Billings worked five innings allowing three runs off six hits to pick up his sixth win of the season.
The Drillers will continue their series with the Cardinals Saturday night at Hammons Field. Keith Weiser (5-5, 3.53 ERA) will take the mound for Tulsa against Springfield's Mark Diapoules (1-0, 3.60 ERA). First pitch is schedule for 6:10PM in Springfield, Missouri.