Before the largest sellout crowd of the season, 7,412 fans, the Arkansas Travelers hung on for the 5-4 win against the Springfield Cardinals on Saturday evening at Hammons Field. The packed house and the Cardinals all saluted active and retired members of the military in the Mid Missouri Credit Union and Fort Leonard Wood Military Appreciation Night on Saturday.
The Travelers (3-2, 36-38) took an early lead, striking for two runs in the top of the first inning against RHP Seth Blair. With the bases full and two away, LF Drew Heid placed a two-run single to left field, lifting the Travelers into the early 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals (3-2, 36-37) evened it out in the bottom of the third, plating a pair against LHP Michael Roth (W, 2-2). SS Jake Lemmerman started the inning with a single, before Roth retired 3B Ruben Gotay on a liner to third. However, LF Chris Swauger came through for the Cards, belting a two-run bomb over the left-field wall to tie the game, 2-2.
A solo home run by Arkansas 3B Kaleb Cowart in the sixth lifted the Travs back in front, but the Cardinals responded right away in the bottom of the frame. With one down, Roth walked RF Stephen Piscotty and then hit DH Cody Stanley with a pitch, putting two Cardinals on. After a strikeout for the second out, C Audry Perez drove a two-run double to the right-center field gap, plating both runners to catapult the Cardinals in front, 4-3.
However, Arkansas dealt a quick blow in the top of the seventh to move back in front. After a pair of walks by LHP Justin Wright (L, 0-1) started the inning, the Cardinals lefty dealt a strikeout to 2B Taylor Lindsey. RHP Kevin Thomas took over on the mound and retired the first batter that he faced, but 1B CJ Cron hooked a two-run double inside the left-field line, scoring both runners and swinging the Travis into the 5-4 advantage.
Springfield got two men on in the eighth and one on in the ninth, but the Travelers escaped both frames and held on for the 5-4 win. RHP David Carpenter (S, 1) tossed the ninth for the save.