April 12, 2005 - SPRINGFIELD, MO – The home opener couldn't have gone any better. A crowd of 8,831 at Hammons Field witnessed the first win in franchise history and then enjoyed fireworks thanks to AM Pyrotechnics, sending everyone home happy!
Randy Leek pitched seven strong innings, keeping the Drillers off the scoreboard, as the Springfield Cardinals won their inaugural regular season game at Hammons Field, beating Tulsa by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday night. Leek was dominating, allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out four in picking up his first win of the year. He also picked two different Tulsa base runners off, facing just two over the minimum in his seven frames of work.
The Cardinals took the lead in the fourth against Tulsa starter Keith Ramsey (0-1). After a one-out walk to Papo Bolivar, Travis Hanson sent a Ramsey pitch into the gap in right-center field. Bolivar scored all the way from first, as Hanson cruised to third with an RBI triple and a 1-0 lead for the Cards.
The Cardinals added a huge insurance run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Matt DeMarco grounded a Gerrit Simpson pitch to the shortstop Nestor Perez. Perez hesitated after looking at second base, and finally fired over to first base. First baseman Javier Cardona's foot got pulled off the bag and DeMarco was ruled safe by umpire Brandon Coony. On the play, Andy Schutzenhofer scored from third to make it 2-0.
In the ninth, the Drillers rallied against Cards closer Josh Kinney. With one out and Tony Miller at first after he reached on a fielder's choice, Jayson Nix singled to right field, putting runners at first and third. Sean Barker followed with a single to right field, scoring Miller and moving Nix to third base. Needing only a sac fly to tie the game, Tulsa's Javier Cardona sent a slow chopper down to third baseman Travis Hanson. Hanson started the game-ending 5-4-3 double play, giving the Cardinals their first win in franchise history and Kinney his first save of the year.
The Cardinals improve to 1-4, while the Drillers fall to 3-2. The two clubs will meet in game two of the five-game set on Wednesday night, as Jeremy Cook (0-0) will take on Tulsa's Christian Parker (1-0). Game time from Hammons Field on Wednesday is at 7:10. Great seats are still available!
Tickets for all regular season games are on sale now by calling the Springfield Cardinals ticket office at (417) 863-2143, or by visiting www.springfieldcardinals.com. All games are broadcast live on JOCK 98.7 FM and online through the Cardinals website at www.springfieldcardinals.com.