Daniel Poncedeleon (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Highlights of Saturday’s games across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system and a look ahead to Sunday’s action.

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Saturday. Our Player of the Day is Memphis starter Daniel Poncedeleon, who pitched six strong innings, allowing only one run on four hits, setting up the Redbirds to make a late surge to defeat Oklahoma City.

Results for games played Saturday, April 22.

Memphis 6 at Oklahoma City 1

Memphis made a late inning surge for the ages, as they scored six runs in the ninth inning to steal a win from the Oklahoma City Dodgers.  After failing to score for the first eight innings against Dodgers pitching, the Redbirds hitters began the ninth facing reliever Brandon Morrow.  Harrison Bader led off with a single to center.  Paul DeJong followed with a single to right.  A ground ball single by Wilfredo Tovar scored Bader.  Pinch hitter Todd Cunningham bunted his way on, advancing both runners.  Tommy Pham then singled to center, plating DeJong and Tovar.  Chad Huffman’s double brought Cunningham and Pham home.

At this point there was still no outs.  With Luke Voit at the plate, a wild pitch sent Huffman to third.  Voit then singled, scoring Huffman.  The Dodgers made a pitching change, sending Morrow to the showers.  Patrick Wisdom and Carson Kelly both flied out.  Bader came to bat again and doubled, DeJong drew a walk, then Tovar flied out to left to finally end the onslaught.  The Dodgers failed to score in the bottom frame of the ninth.


Starter Daniel Poncedeleon gave up the sole Dodgers run on a first inning solo home run.  The right hander pitched five additional scoreless innings, before yielding to reliever Josh Lucas.  Lucas pitched a scoreless seventh, and was followed by Ryan Sherriff and Rowan Wick, who pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth.  Sherriff got the win, his first.

The Redbirds are 9-8 on the season and remain in first place in the PCL American South.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Oklahoma City, Arturo Reyes (2-0, 1.80) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 4 at Arkansas 6

The Cardinals lost a tough one at Arkansas on Saturday.  After falling behind 4-0 early, the Springfield bats battled back to tie it up in the fifth inning.  A double by Casey Grayson, followed by a single from Alex Mejia set up Gabriel Lino’s sac fly.   In the third inning, Nick Martini drew a leadoff walk and came home on a Blake Drake double.  Bruce Caldwell followed with a solo home run to bring Springfield to within one.  The Cardinals tied it up in the fifth on a Jacob Wilson RBI double, but that was the end of their scoring.


Starter Matt Pearce gave up four runs in the first inning.  After he settled down, the right hander pitched five scoreless innings to allow his offense to chip away at the lead.  Corey Baker gave up one run each in the seventh and the eighth to take the loss.

The Cardinals are 8-7 in the Texas League North and are tied with the Travelers for first place.

Sunday’s game:  at Arkansas, Jack Flaherty (3-0, 0.42) 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 6, Charlotte 10

The Cardinals dropped a second straight home game to Charlotte, a night after losing in a 10-0 rout.  The Beach Birds bats put up six runs on 14 hits, but it wasn’t enough.  A first inning solo home run by Casey Turgeon gave the Cardinals the early lead.  An RBI single from Thomas Spitz plated a run in the second.  Chris Chinea belted a two run shot in the third inning.  In the seventh, a leadoff double and a single put runners at the corners, and a double play ball by Danny Diekroeger brought the runner at third home.  Diekroeger singled in the ninth to plate the sixth and final run for the Cardinals.


Despite the work of the offense, it was a very bad day for starter Ryan Helsley.  In suffering his first loss of the season, Helsley gave up seven Charlotte runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched.  Ian McKinney took the mound in place of Helsley and pitched 3 2/3 innings while allowing one unearned run.  Juan Perez pitched the final three innings, surrendering two runs on five hits.

The Cardinals are 9-8, a half game out of first place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Charlotte, Jake Woodford (1-0, 0.84) 12:00 pm CT.


Peoria 6 at Wisconsin 7 (10 innings)

The Chiefs dropped a close one in extra innings on Saturday at Wisconsin for their seventh loss in the last eight games.  Peoria took a six run lead into the bottom frame of the fourth inning before Wisconsin added two runs in the bottom of the fourth to start to chip away at the lead. 


Catcher Andrew Knizner led the offense with a 3-for-5 performance, including a two-run home run in the second inning to put the Chiefs on the board.  Designated hitter Brian O’Keefe contributed another long ball, a two run blast in the fourth.  O’Keefe was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  Shane Billings drove in two runs on an RBI single in the third and was 2-for-4.

Peoria starter Steven Farinaro pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits.  Reliever Mike O’Reilly surrendered the tying run in the bottom of the sixth to be tagged with a blown save.  Spencer Trayner pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, relinquishing the winning run in the bottom of the 10th, taking the loss.

The Chiefs are 6-9 on the season, four games back of first place in the Midwest League West.

Sunday’s game:  at Wisconsin, John Kilichowski (0-2, 6.00) 1:05 CT.


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