June 10, 2015, North Little Rock, AR – The Springfield Cardinals collected their season-high fifth straight win with a 6-5 victory against the Arkansas Travelers before 4,586 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park on Wednesday night. The Cardinals have won eight of their last nine games and have started the month of June with a 7-1 record.
The Cardinals (24-34) claimed the early advantage against RHP Albert Suarez (L, 6-4) in the top of the second inning. Suarez started the stanza with consecutive strikeouts, but SS Aledmys Diaz reached with a single to shallow right field. After 2B Bruce Caldwell worked a walk and advanced Diaz to second, 3B Patrick Wisdom struck with an RBI single to center field, bringing in Diaz for the 1-0 lead.
Springfield stretched the early advantage with two more in the top of the third. CF Charlie Tilson sparked the charge with a single, taking second base on a fielding error by CF Jared Mitchell. After a sacrifice bunt from LF Mike O’Neill moved Tilson to third, he charged home on an RBI groundout from DH Jeremy Hazelbaker. With the bases clear and two away, 1B Jonathan Rodriguez ripped a double to keep the frame going. He then quickly came home on a two-out RBI single by C Michael Ohlman, making it a 3-0 advantage for Springfield.
The Travelers (30-27) started chipping away immediately in the bottom of the third against RHP Andrew Morales. After 3B Drew Maggi had led off with a single, 2B Sherman Johnson dealt an RBI double to bring in Maggi from first and get the Travs on the board. Morales battled back with a pop out and a groundout, bringing up DH Raywilly Gomez with one on and two away. However, Gomez plated Johnson with an RBI single, bringing Arkansas within one run of tying it, 3-2.
The Travs then completed the comeback in the bottom of the fourth. CF Jared Mitchell ripped a one-out triple, before coming home on an RBI single from Maggi to square the score at 3-3.
After a walk had put two men on in the bottom of the fourth with only one down, RHP Corey Baker (W, 3-2) took over on the mound and navigated Springfield out of the rest of the inning with no further damage. He continued to keep the Travelers at bay through his subsequent two stanzas, putting in a total of 2.2 scoreless innings for the Cardinals.
While Baker was dealing on the mound, the Cardinals swung back in front with one run in each inning from the fifth through the seventh. With two down in the fifth, Rodriguez blasted the go-ahead blow, a solo home run to left field to lift the Cardinals back in front, 4-3.
Arkansas RHP Alan Busenitz took over in the top of the sixth inning and retired the frame’s first out, but Springfield struck again. With one down and nobody on, Diaz crushed a solo home run to left, increasing the lead to 5-3.
The Cardinals continued to pad the advantage with their final run of the night, coming in the top of the seventh. Tilson led off with a double, before taking third on a perfect bunt single from O’Neill. After Hazelbaker worked a walk to load the bases, Rodriguez skied an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, bringing in Tilson to stretch it to a 6-3 advantage.
After Baker’s final frame, a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth, RHP Jordan Swagerty took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh. Johnson and SS Eric Stamets worked consecutive walks to start the inning, before each moving up one base on a wild pitch. 1B Brian Hernandez then drove an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Johnson to make it 6-4. With Stamets at third base, Gomez drew a walk that put two men on and led to RHP Joey Donofrio coming out of the bullpen. Donofrio induced a fly ball to left field from RF Cal Towey, but it was deep enough for the sacrifice fly to bring home Stamets from third. With the tying run at second base, Donofrio dealt an inning-ending strikeout to LF D’Arby Myers, getting the Cardinals out of the seventh with the one-run lead, 6-5.
Donofrio then tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts, before giving way to RHP Kurt Heyer (S, 3) for the ninth. Heyer worked around a one-out single, slamming the door with a scoreless ninth and closing the 6-5 win for the Cardinals.