SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Springfield Cardinals scored early and often en route to a 10-4 win over the Frisco RoughRiders in front of 4,018 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.
Springfield's win, combined with the Arkansas Travelers 4-2 loss to San Antonio, put the Cardinals back in first place in the Texas League North.
The Cardinals (24-19) jumped on RoughRiders' (24-21) LHP Richard Bleier (L, 0-1) for three runs in the first inning. LF Mike O'Neill led off with a single, followed by CF James Ramsey's walk. 3B Ruben Gotay lined a double down the left-field line, plating O'Neill to put Springfield ahead 1-0. Two batters later, 1B Xavier Scruggs grounded out to short, but Ramsey came home from third to give the Cardinals their second run. 2B Starlin Rodriguez then lined a double into left-field, scoring Gotay and putting Springfield on top 3-0.
Unfortunately, for Frisco, the Cardinals' bats were just getting started. In the bottom of the second, C Audry Perez doubled, followed by SS Luis Mateo's single. After an infield lineout and pop out, 3B Ruben Gotay lined a three-run homer into the Frisco bullpen, giving the Cardinals a 6-0 lead.
Six runs was all Cardinal LHP Anthony Ferrara (W, 4-3) would need, as he tossed 5.2 innings, allowing just four runs on seven hits.
The four runs Frisco scored all came across in the sixth inning, as the RoughRiders got two-RBI singles from RF Chih-Hsien Chiang and DH Alejandro Selen before RHP Ramon Delgado retired SS Hanser Alberto on an inning-ending fielder's choice to end the frame.
Springfield countered with four runs in the seventh, loading the bases on an O'Neill double and back-to-back walks by Ramsey and Gotay from RHP Roman Mendez. Two batters later, Scruggs singled in a run, Rodriguez doubled in two, and RF Adam Melker delivered an RBI sacrifice fly, extending the Cardinals' lead to 10-4.
LHP Justin Wright and RHP Deryk Hooker combined to shutout the RoughRiders in the final three innings, striking out three in the process, to close out a 10-4 Cardinal win.
For all three area teams advancing to the Class 3 Final 4 this season has been about unfinished business. Last March I watched the Strafford boys and Ash Grove girls in their quarterfinal at Drury get pushed around by Fatima and St. James, respectively....
Today I was planning on telling you about how much I enjoy watching this year's Wichita State team, but why they don't deserve a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
But, Saturday happened.
Mar. 8, 2014 may have been the most spectacular day of...
It's March, which means it is time for madness. Last week we saw small-schools wrap up district play and there was no shortage of upsets, big-time performances, and history being made. Expect the same this week with the big schools. Here is my breakdown...