Saturday night's win was the third in a row for Springfield and the second against the RoughRiders.
Just as Eldred was the hero in the ninth, Juan Diaz won the hearts of fans when, in the fifth inning, Diaz launched a grand slam home run off the arm of Frisco's starter, Nick Masset. Masset had walked the three previous batters and Diaz sent the first pitch delivered to him over the left field bullpen, giving the Cardinals a 5-2 lead.
The Cardinals held the lead through five innings before the RoughRiders scored ;four times in the sixth, giving Frisco a 6-5 advantage, thanks to a three-run triple off Anthony Ferrari.
The teams swapped homeruns in the seventh with lead-off homeruns, as Seth Taylor homered against Jeremy Cook, making it 7-5, in favor of Frisco, in the top half of the seventh. Travis Hanson homered in the bottom of the seventh to bring the Cards within one run at 7-6.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals were trailing 7-6 when Frisco reliever Scott Feldman issued a one-out walk to Andy Schutzenhofer. Jesse Chavez (0-1) was called out of the RoughRiders' bullpen to face Dan Moylan. Moylan singled to right field, moving Schutzenhofer to third. The throw from right fielder Juan Seneiso was way over the head of Seth Taylor, Frisco's third baseman, allowing Schutzenhofer to score, to tie the game at seven each.
Papo Bolivar was then called upon to pinch hit for Kevin Estrada, but struck out for the second out of the Cardinals' eighth frame. Joaquin Arias, Frisco's shortstop, had a ball bounced to him off the bat of Shaun Boyd, and, in what should have been a routine play, the ball hit in and out of Arias' glove, allowing Boyd to reach first and Moylan to score, On the same play, Arias overthrew first baseman Jason Hart, allowing Boyd to move to second. Three errors were committed in the inning, which gave the Cards two unearned runs to take an 8-7 lead going into the ninth.
Eldred (1-0), who came in in the eighth inning, pitched two perfect innings. Eldred worked a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and ended the game in the ninth when he got Seth Taylor to fly out to Tyler Minges in right field.
The Cardinals will try for a record four straight wins in today's (Sunday's) final game of a three-game series against the RoughRiders. Jeremy Cummings (0-0) will take on Frisco's Edison Volquez (0-0). Game time is 1:10 p.m. and gates open at 12:10 p.m.
The first 2,500 fans will receive a free Cardinal baseball thanks to Great Southern Bank. Tickets are available by calling (417) 863-2143 or on line at www.springfieldcardials.com. The game can be heard live of KWTO JOCK 98.7 FM or on line by clicking on "listen live" at www.springfieldcardinals.com.