Springfield, MO – RHP Jack Flaherty struck out a season-high nine batters through 7.2 scoreless innings to help pace the Springfield Cardinals to the 3-0 shutout win against the Midland RockHounds before 2,574 fans at Hammons Field on Monday night.
After a quick 1-2-3 top of the first from Flaherty (W, 3-0), the Cardinals (6-5) jumped in front in the bottom of the first against RHP Heath Fillmyer (L, 0-1). With one down and the bases empty, LF Nick Martini belted a solo blast to left field, his second homer in as many days, propelling the Cardinals into the 1-0 lead.
Flaherty continued to dominate the RockHounds (5-6), retiring the first 10 batters in a row and keeping the one-run lead intact through his first four scoreless innings.
After Flaherty finished off Midland in the top of the fourth, the Cardinals added to the lead in the bottom of the inning. Facing RHP Joel Seddon, C Gabriel Lino led off with a double. One out later, CF Oscar Mercado placed an RBI single up the middle, bringing in Lino from second base for the 2-0 lead.
Flaherty put in another perfect frame in the top of the fifth, before the Cardinals further padded the lead in the home half of the fifth. This time, it was 3B Bruce Caldwell to open the inning with a leadoff double. Two outs later, SS Alex Mejia rifled an RBI single to left-center, plating Caldwell to make it a 3-0 Cardinals advantage.
Flaherty continued to shut down the Midland bats, wrapping up his 7.2 innings with only two hits and one walk, striking out nine and lowering his season ERA to 0.42 through three starts.
RHP Corey Baker (S, 2) took over with one on and one down in the eighth and dealt 1.1 scoreless innings to slam the door in the 3-0 shutout win for Springfield.