is nothing quite like the excitement of winning a championship - the fans
cheering, the players ecstatic on the field, fireworks going off, the manager
and owner beaming from ear to ear. Yes, the Springfield Cardinals were on a
tear, roaring into first place and setting themselves up for a big game in
last Friday's (June 13) game was rained out,
Game two saw Matt Clement notch his first win as a Springfield Cardinal, as he allowed three runs on five hits over five innings in his second rehab start. Clement didn't allow a hit over the first three innings, but ran into some fourth-inning trouble. Kila Kaaihue and Juan Richardson had back-to-back RBI singles, making it 5-2. With the bases loaded and no outs, Clement got Marc Maddox to ground into a double-play, bringing home a run to make it 5-3. After hitting Ovandy Suero to put the tying run aboard, Clement got out of the inning by getting Adam Donachie to fly to center. Clement (1-0) picked up the win, allowing a total of three runs on five hits over five innings. He struck out three and hit two batters, throwing 74 pitches.
After losing on Sunday to the Naturals 3-1. the Cards moved on to North Little Rock to play the Arkansas Travelers in a four-game series, which, as it turned out, would determine the winner of the first half of the season. The Cards would win three of the four games--just not the one that mattered the most. They took Monday's game by a whopping score of 10-5, Wednesday's game by an unbelievable score of 15-4, and won Thursday's game, 9-8, in 11 innings.
All the Cardinals had to do was win the one game on Tuesday night to take the first half championship. But, unfortunately, all they had to do was lose that game to lose the division title too.
was going so good in the beginning. The Cards were leading 3-0 in the third
the fourth, Craig again put the hurt to Davidson, hitting a double off the top
of the center field wall to bring in Jon Jay to score, giving the Cards a 4-0
lead. It seemed like everything was going
Travs began to pick away at the Cardinal lead in the fifth as Adam Czarniecki
took Todd's first pitch of the inning over the fence in left-center field to
make it 4-1,
in the ninth inning, with Salas still on the mound, a guy who had done it all
year for the Cards, the Travs down to their last out, Michael Collins took Salas
for one into the
the sun seemed to come out and shine through the night right on the Cards as
Matt Pagnozzi got the ball rolling by earning a walk. Back-to-back doubles by
Shane Robinson and Jon Jay would chase Pagnozzi across the plate with Robinson
right on his heels, to make it a 6-4 lead for
For the Travs, down to their final out again in the 11th, Adam Greenberg singled over right-fielder Casey Rowlett's head, driving in the winning run, capping a three run inning.
Luke Gregerson (3-4) couldn't hold onto the lead, as the first four
Gregerson was removed in favor of left-handed reliever Justin Fiske, who entered and promptly issued a walk to Brian Walker to load the bases. With the bases loaded and just one out, Greenberg singled over the drawn-in Cardinal outfield for the game-winner, scoring pinch-runner Anderson Rosario.
The sight that greeted the Springfield Cardinals on Tuesday night, along with the Arkansas Travelers' fans, owner and manager, was fireworks showering over Dickey-Stephens Park, as the the Travs won the first-half crown of the North Division of the Texas League. Funny how things look different from the opposite dugout.
And so the game goes on, and the Cards marched into the second half beating this same team on Wednesday night by a score of 14-5. Go figure.
The Springfield Cardinals are now 2-0 in the second season and move on to play the Tulsa Drillers.
© 2008 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.