The Springfield team came into the game tied with Wichita for third place in the Texas League East Division, but left the field Tuesday holding onto last place all by themselves.
Smiles broke out when the Cards took an early lead in the second inning on a two-run homer by catcher Robinson Cancel, his second of the year.
In the third inning, the Wranglers tied the game with RBI hits by Shane Costa and Justin Huber, off starting pitcher Jordan Pals and smiles waned a little. But smiles returned to the faces of the 7,111 Springfield fans in the bottom of the third inning when the Cardinal's Shaun Boyd hit a two-out single to right field to drive in two runs. Aaron Herr then pumped the crowd as he launched an RBI double to left, after a throwing error sent Cancel to third, making it 6-2.
Pals held on to the lead through 5.2 innings, before being pulled for reliever Anthony Rawson, who worked 1.1 scoreless innings. In the eighth inning Anthony Ferrari took the mound and struggled, walking the first man he faced--and it only got worse from there. With one out, Ferrari got Mike Aviles to ground out to Kevin Estrada, who couldn't field the ball, and allowed runners to be safe at first and second, and still only one out. Matt Tuppman was hit by a pitch and suddenly the bases were loaded. Cory Doyne replaced Ferrari and Doyne allowed a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3. Doyne walked John Draper and allowed a two-run single by Rudy Gomez increasing Wichita's lead 6-5. Shane Costa then lined-out, preserving the one-run lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Chris Mahoney, Cardinal's manager, was ejected from the game in the bottom of the eighth after Travis Hanson struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch. It was the first time a Springfield coach or player has been thrown out of a ballgame this season.
Reliever Josh Kinney failed to pick-up his tenth save ot the year in the ninth and both teams battled back and forth for two innings before Wichita finally broke the tie in the 12th against Josh Axelson. Disaster loomed for the Cardinals as Mike Aviles led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI single by Keim. But it was the two Cardinal errors in the inning and a two-run double by Justin Huber, the Texas League's leading hitter, that sealed Springfield's doom as they led to three more Wichita runs being scored.
Wichita reliever Shawn Sonnier got his first win of the season as he worked two scoreless innings and the Wichita Wranglers stunned the Springfield Cardinals (and their fans) 10-6.
The Cardinals will attempt to return the smiles to their fan's faces when they take on the Arkansas Travelers on Wednesday night at Hammons Field. They will play the Travelers a five-game series. Buddy Blair (1-5) will face Delvin James (1-2) of Arkansas. Game time is 7:10 p.m. and tickets are still available by calling (417) 863-2143 or by visiting the website at www.springfieldcardinals.com.
The game can be heard on JOCK 98.7 FM in Springfield or by clicking the "Listen Live" link on the website.