A win over Tulsa tonight could put Springfield alone in second place at .500, and a loss by Wichita would see the Cards only one game back of the Wranglers. Wichita will play the Travelers on Friday night at Arkansas.
On Thursday the Cards took an early lead when Tulsa's centerfielder Jordan Czarniecki watched a ball hit by Travis Hanson hit the warning track as it made a dead bounce off the centerfield wall. Hanson wound up at second base and later scored on a single by Pete Zoccollilo.
In the fifth inning Hanson again came through when he hit a single to bring in Miko Jaramillo, who led off the inning with a double, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning Springfield put it away when they scored twice to make it 4-0. Aaron Herr started off the inning by getting hit by a pitch from Tulsa Starter Jon Asahina (9-4). Papo Bolivar reached first on a single. Catcher Dan Moylan then hit a single moving Bolivar to second and scoring Herr to make it 3-0. Shaun Boyd completed the sixth inning scoring by hitting a single and driving in Moylan to make it 4-0.
In the eighth inning, Tulsa put a damper on the Card's chances for a shut-out when Springfield starter Chris Lambert was replaced by reliever Anthony Ferrari, who gave up a two-run homer to Sean Baker who scored Luis Guance from second. With the score 4-2 and only one out, Cardinal's manager Chris Maloney, pulled Ferrari and sent in Chris Mears who retired the next two batters.
Cory Doyne pitched a scoreless ninth inning, after walking pinch-hitter Hector Tena and bringing Tony Miller, the tying run, to the plate. Miller swept at a pitch in the dirt by Doyne to end the game and give the Cards their second win in row.
Chris Lambert got the win, his first of the year as a Cardinal and Cory Doyne got the save, his sixth of the year.
Randy Leek (8-4) will take the mound tonight against Tulsa's Ubaldo Jiminez (1-0). Game time is 7:10 p.m., with gates opening at 6:10 p.m. Tonight is AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks with a huge display to follow tonight's game.
Tickets remain for tonight's game and can be purchased at the Hammons Field office, by calling (417) 863-2143 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com. The game can also be heard live on KWTO JOCK 98.7 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com/
You can write to John Brayfield at firstname.lastname@example.org