Springfield, MO – The Springfield Cardinals reclaimed sole possession of 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings with an 8-3 win against the Tulsa Drillers before the sellout crowd of 6,754 fans at Hammons Field on Saturday evening.
The Cardinals (39-22, 74-57) powered in front in the bottom of the second against RHP Yadier Alvarez (L, 1-2). 2B Eliezer Alvarez led off with a broken-bat base hit to right field. 1B Jacob Wilson then belted a two-run home run beyond the left field fence, his team-leading 16th blast of the season, opening a 2-0 lead. C Andrew Knizner followed Wilson’s homer with a double drilled down the left field side. A groundout moved Knizner to third base, before he darted home on a wild pitch from Yadier Alvarez, increasing the Cardinals lead to 3-0.
Cardinals LHP Austin Gomber (W, 10-7) dealt 4.0 scoreless and hitless innings to start his outing, before helping his own cause with the bat in the bottom of the fourth. SS Tommy Edman worked a one-out walk and took second on a wild pitch, getting into scoring position for Gomber. Gomber came through with an RBI single through the left side, plating Edman for the 4-0 advantage. LHP Luis Ysla entered for Tulsa, but LF Magneuris Sierra bunted himself on with a base hit, moving Gomber to second. After a fly out, 3B Darren Seferina pelted a two-out, two-run double off the right field fence, plating both runners to make it 6-0.
Gomber posted a 1-2-3 fifth inning, and the Cardinals got right back to work in the bottom of the fifth. Alvarez opened the frame with a double to right-center field, his third hit of the night to go with a single and a triple. One out later, Knizner clobbered a two-run home run to left-center field, stretching the Springfield lead to 8-0.
Gomber kept the no-hit bid going with a perfect sixth, but 3B Matt Beaty broke it up with a double to start the seventh inning, the Drillers (38-23, 71-60) first hit of the night. After a groundout moved Beaty to third base, he came home on an RBI single from RF Yusniel Diaz to get Tulsa on the board. Gomber battled back with consecutive strikeouts to close the inning with no further damage, wrapping up his start with just the one run on two hits, two walks and nine strikeouts, exiting with Springfield up, 8-1.
With the Cardinals committing three errors in the frame, the Drillers plated a pair of unearned runs in the top of the eighth against RHP Tyler Bray, slicing the deficit to five runs. However, Bray bounced back with a scoreless top of the ninth, closing the 8-3 win for the Cardinals.