Tuesday: Frisco 7, Springfield 6

The John Brayfield Report on the Springfield AA Cardinals

It looked as though the Springfield Cardinals were on the right track in the early going Tuesday night in Frisco, Texas, and seemed to be in line for the checkered flag as the lead between the Cards and the RoughRiders passed back and forth several times--but in the end the Cards would falter in the back field and eventually crash and burn as Frisco handed them a 7-6 loss. The loss was the second in as many nights at Dr. Pepper / 7UP Field.

The Cardinals grabbed a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Travis Hanson hit his 19th home run of the season and drove in Shaun Boyd and Rick Ankiel, both of whom had walked to start off the inning. Hanson is now tied with Aaron Herr for the team lead in home runs.

The Cards seemed to be cruising toward the back-stretch when the RoughRiders charged out in front in the bottom of the third by racking-up five straight hits off Cardinals starter Chris Lambert (2-5). Joaquin Arias and Vincent Sinisi each hit RBI singles, making it 3-2. Then, former SMS Bear Jason Hart, hit a two-run double to make it 5-3, Frisco. Hart would wind up the night driving in three runs, going 2-for-2, with a pair of walks.

But, not to be shut down, the Cards roared back in the fifth with a three-run rally that seemed to give them a refreshed glimpse of the prize--a much needed win. Travis Hanson got the rally started with a two-out double, followed by a Gabe Johnson run-scoring double, making it 5-4. The game pulled into a neck and neck race when Papo Bolivar hit an RBI triple to tie the game at 5-5. The Cards once again pulled ahead on a Kevin Estrada RBI single hit off Frisco reliever Mark Roberts (1-0) which scored Bolivar to give Springfield a 6-5 advantage.

But the race would belong to the RoughRiders as an unearned run charged to reliever Jeremy Cook, who replaced Lambert in the sixth, would break the 6-6 tie and give Frisco the lead for good. With two outs in the sixth inning, Cameron Coughlan walked and stole second base. Joquin Arias grounded out to shortstop Brendan Ryan, who managed to reach the ball, but his throw went off the glove of first baseman Gabe Johnson, who was charged with an error. Coughlan scored from second giving the RoughRiders a 7-6 lead.

The final three innings saw the Cardinals put ony two men on base--a walk to Travis Hanson to open the seventh inning (Hanson advanced to second on a wild pitch from reliever Agustin Montero) and Kevin Estrada who reached on a fielding error by Joaquin Arias. In a last minute charge to overtake the RoughRiders, Dan Moylan, with runners at first and third with two outs, grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning as the Cards ran out of gas and went in order in the eighth and ninth innings and coasted to the finish line.

The Springfield Cardinals are now 18-26 after losing two straight to Frisco, and are 7.5 games back of Arkansas in the Texas League East Division. Stuart Pomeranz (2-5) will try to give the Cards a win Wednesday night in the final game of the three-game series with the RoughRiders. Frisco will send Nick Masset (5-9) to the mound. Game time is 7 p.m. and can be heard live on Springfield's KWTO JOCK 98.7 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.

THE GOOD NEWS--The Cardinals return home on Thursday, August 11, to face the Midland RockHounds and the Frisco RoughRiders in a seven-game homestand. Tickets to all seven games are available at the Hammons Field Ticket Office, by calling (417) 863-2143, or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.

Also, the Springfield Cardinals have announced a new Replay Ticket Exchange Program which will allow fans the opportunity to purchase excellent seats to games that may already be sold out by going online to www.springfieldcardinals.com/tickets/replay/.

And, on August 14, Springfield sports icon Ned Reynolds, KY3 sports director, will be honored with a Bobblehead Doll in his image being given to the first 2500 fans in attendance. The event is sponsored by Hardee's.

You can email John at johnb@positech.net.

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