July 7, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Midland RockHounds
The Cardinals catcher sent a game-winning home run over the right field fence at Hammons Field, completing a comeback that began with a three-base error on a pop-up that landed about 60 feet from home plate.
With the RockHounds leading 1-0, Randy Arozarena led off the seventh with a high pop-up between the pitcher's mound and first base. All four infielders tracked the pop fly, which then glanced off the glove of first baseman Viosergy Rosa . Arozarena, who has outstanding speed, was halfway to second base before the ball was retrieved. The 'Hounds also left third base unattended, so Arozarena not only advanced to second, he then easily won the foot race to third base, going 270 feet on the base paths on a 60-foot pop up.
Brandon Mann got the next two batters (ironically, including Knizner) but Magneuris Sierra lifted a soft liner just over the glove of third baseman Branden Cogswell . The "duck snort" single tied the game and set the stage for Knizner's walk-off two innings later.
The RockHounds took a 1-0 lead in the third on a B.J. Boyd single and Max Schrock 's RBI double into the right field corner, which scored Jordan Tarsovich, who had reached on an unusual fielder's choice. Tarsovich hit a pop up into shallow right field, which Kolten Wong - with Springfield on a Major League rehab assignment - bobbled and dropped. He recovered quickly enough to throw to second, getting the force out on Boyd on a close play at second.
Sierra not only drove in the tying run, but he also denied the RockHounds an early score. With Tarsovich on at second base and two out in the first inning - on the first of his two doubles - Rosa sent a line drive into the power alley in right-center. Sierra made an absolute web gem of a play, getting to the ball in perfect stride and making an airborne, diving catch.
Lost in the Springfield comeback was a tremendous start from the RockHounds' Dustin Hurlbutt . The right-hander went six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, three walks and one hit batsman, while striking out three in just his second Double-A start.