Cardinals Win Final Series in San Antonio with 4-3 Victory
San Antonio, TX - Playing their last-ever game in San Antonio, the Springfield Cardinals topped the Missions, 4-3, before 6,013 fans at Wolff Stadium on Thursday night. The Cardinals won two of three games at the Wolff, winning nine of their last 10 series in San Antonio dating back to 2014. The Missions will move to Triple-A in the Pacific Coast League starting in 2019.
For the third straight game, the Cardinals (20-27, 53-64) struck first in the top of the first. Facing RHP Chris Paddack, RF Blake Drake singled himself on with one away, before moving to second on a wild pitch one out later. On the eighth pitch of his two-out at-bat, 1B John Nogowski won the battle with an RBI single to right-center, bringing home Drake and lifting Springfield ahead, 1-0.
Cardinals RHP Casey Meisner (W, 1-1) kept the narrow lead intact through his first 3.1 perfect frames, retiring his first 10 batters in a row. The Missions (23-23, 65-51), though, broke up the perfect game bid with a one-out walk from 3B Hudson Potts in the bottom of the fourth. He stole second and then raced home one out later on a two-out RBI single from C Webster Rivas, the Missions first hit of the night, tying it at 1-1.
San Antonio then seized the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Meisner recorded the first two outs in order, but SS Matthew Batten pulled a double off the left field wall to extend the inning. He then came home when Paddack collected an RBI single, his first-career hit and RBI, lifting the Missions ahead, 2-1.
After a diving catch by RF Blake Drake ended the bottom of the fifth with no further damage, the Cardinals swung right back in front in the top of the sixth against RHP Elliot Ashbeck (L, 0-1). With two down, Nogowski worked a walk and took second on a wild pitch. LF Johan Mieses then sent a booming RBI double to left-center field, scoring Nogowski to tie the game. C Chris Chinea came up next and brought in Mieses with an RBI single to left field, catapulting the Cards into the 3-2 lead.
Springfield then padded the lead in the top of the seventh with another two-out run. Facing RHP Miguel Diaz with two on and two away, Drake drove an RBI single to right-center field, bringing home SS Jose Martinez from third base to stretch the lead to 4-2.
Meisner kept the Cardinals ahead with a 1-2-3 seventh inning, including a pair of strikeouts, before starting the eighth. The Missions got their first two batters on with a bunt single and a walk to open the eighth, leading to RHP Seth Elledge (S, 2) taking over on the mound. Elledge ushered the Cardinals out of the eighth unscathed with a double play turned by Nogowski and a groundout to third, keeping it 4-2.
Elledge came back out for the ninth inning, which began with consecutive infield singles from 1B Austin Allen and RF Michael Gettys. Both runners advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, before Batten worked a walk to load the bases with one away. A wild pitch brought home Allen and put runners at second and third, but then Elledge dug in with back-to-back strikeouts to leave the tying and winning runs at third and second, and close the 4-3 victory for the Cardinals.
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