Springfield, MO – The San Antonio Missions topped the Springfield Cardinals, 5-0, before 5,293 fans at Hammons Field for the Home Opener on Thursday night.
The Missions (4-3) swung in front early against RHP Trey Nielsen (L, 0-2) and the Cardinals (4-3), plating a run in the top of the second. LF Nick Torres and 3B Diego Goris started the stanza with consecutive singles. A fielder’s choice on a 2B Taylor Lindsey groundball put runners at first and third with one down for C Rocky Gale. Gale skied an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, plating Torres and lifting the Missions ahead, 1-0.
San Antonio added to the early advantage in the top of the third. Nielsen induced a fly out to start the frame, but then CF Auston Bousfield walked and RF Yeison Asencio singled, putting two men on. 1B Mike Olt followed with a three-run home run to left field, increasing the lead to four runs. Torres and Goris then struck again with back-to-back base hits, setting up runners at the corners with one away. Lindsey added the inning’s final tally with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, plating Torres for the 5-0 lead.
Nielsen found his stride after the third, with 2.2 scoreless innings to close his 5.2-frame outing, but RHP Bryan Rodriguez (W, 1-0) countered with seven scoreless innings to keep the Missions ahead.
Both bullpens put in scoreless work from there on out, with RHP Chris Perry (0.1 innings), RHP Joey Donofrio (2.0 innings) and RHP Kurt Heyer (1.0 inning) blanking the Missions through the second half of the contest.
However, San Antonio received scoreless work from RHP Rafael De Paula in the eighth and LHP Brandon Alger in the ninth, closing the 5-0 win for the Missions.