After falling to the Arkansas Travelers 0-4, in its first four games ever played, the newest team in the Texas League, came out on top of the Tulsa Drillers 2-1 in Springfield's home opener, as it proved to be a night of firsts.
Randy Leek, who pitched seven scoreless innings, was the first pitcher to start for the Springfield Cardinals at home. The left-hander threw the first strike, also the first pitch, to the first batter, Jeff Salazar. Leek struck out Salazar, on a 1-2 pitch, to record the team's first at home strike out.
Papo Bolivar scored the Cardinal's first run ever at home off a triple by Travis Hanson in the fourth inning. Shaun Boyd earned the honor of getting the first hit when he singled to center. The Gatlin Brothers sang the first National Anthem in a regular home game, and John Q. Hammons, owner of Hammons Field, threw out the first pitch. But best of all--each and everyone of the nearly 9,000 in attendance witnessed their team get its first win.
Tulsa's shortstop Nestor Perez became the first opposing player to score an error when he bobbled a grounder and tossed a bad throw in the eighth inning, with bases loaded, that allowed Matt DeMarco to reach first while Andy Schutzenhofer crossed the plate to score Springfield's second run and take a 2-0 lead. Josh Kinney, allowed one run to score in the ninth inning, but held on for the save and gave Leek the win.
Left hander Buddy Blair (0-1) is expected to start on Thursday against left-hander Zack Parker (0-0) of Tulsa.