Cardinals Freeze Out Naturals 7-4

On a unusually chilly night at Hammons Field, the Springfield Cardinals picked up a win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 7-2.

The Naturals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Khaili Lee hit his second home run of the season on a line drive shot to right field.

The Cardinals jumped into the lead with a big bottom of the third. Brian O’Keefe started things off with a single to center field. Jose Martinez then doubled to left moving O’Keefe to third. Dylan Carlson walked to load the bases.

Justin Williams then singled to left to score O’Keefe and tie the game at one. It was Williams’ first RBI at Hammons Field. Johan Mieses then singled to center scoring both Carlson and Williams. Cardinals then lead after three innings, 3-1.

The Naturals picked one up in the top of the sixth inning when Khalil Lee hit a triple and scored when the next batter, Gabriel Cancel, reached on a fielder’s choice. 3-2 Cards.

Then in the bottom of the sixth, Chris Chinea took the run back with a long home run to right field. Cardinals 4 Naturals 2.

Brian O’Keefe walked and then moved to second when Jose Martinez singled.

That’s when things went a little crazy and the Naturals ended up with two errors on the same play.

Irving Lopez hit what should have been a routine double play ball to Naturals first baseman Travis Jones, who threw to shortstop Gabriel Cancel at second for the first out. Cancel then threw the ball past the first baseman, allowing Lopez to go to second and O’Keefe to round third and try to score. First baseman Travis Jones, who retrieved the errant throw, threw the ball past the catcher for the second throwing error on the play allowing O’Keefe to score. Cards up 5-2.

After a wild pitch from Jace Vines allowed Lopez to go to third, Carlson knocked him home with an RBI triple. 6-2 Cards.

Justin Williams then grounded to second baseman D.J. Burt who made the third Naturals error of the inning, allowing Carlson to score and give the Cardinals the 7-2 advantage.

The Naturals tried to rally in the top of the eighth. Xavier Fernandez was able to get to second after an error by Cardinals right fielder Johan Mieses. Kort Peterson then hit his third home run of the year to cut the lead to 7-4.

The Cardinals were able to get out of a bases loaded jam later in the eighth and closed out the Naturals in the top of the fourth for the win.

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