Naturals Top Cardinals, 7-4

The Springfield Cardinals had a rough outing against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, losing 7-4 in the opening game of their weekend series at Hammons Field.

The Naturals struck first in the top the second inning. Emmanuel Rivera singled to center field and it looked he would be stranded after back to back strikeouts, but Meibrys Viloria and Kort Peterson singled to drive home Rivera. Naturals 1 Cardinals 0.

The Cardinals tied it back up in the bottom of the inning thanks in part to Randy Arozarena’s speed. He doubled to lead off the inning and then stole third base, and was able to score on a single to center field by Johan Mieses.

But tying it up wasn’t enough for the Cards.

Conner Capel stepped in after Mieses drove home the tying run and drove a ball just over the right-center field wall, his eighth home run of the year, to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Naturals tied it up. Kort Peterson lead off the inning with a walk. Angelo Castellano singled to left. Nick Heath then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Khalil lee then singled to right field, allowing Peterson to score and Castellano to move to third. Gabriel Cancel then reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Castellano, and advanced to second base on a throwing error by Springfield’s Kramer Robertson. Tie game.

The Naturals took a one run lead in the top of the seventh inning, thanks in the most part to the hustle of Nick Heath, whose aggressive baserunning stretched what should have been a lead-off double into a triple. He scored on a single to left by Khalil Lee to give Northwest Arkansas a 4-3 lead.

The Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the seventh. Dylan Carlson doubled to start off the inning and advanced to third when Kramer Robertson grounded out. Randy Arozarena then reached on an error by Naturals shortstop Taylor Featherston, allowing Carlson to plate the tying run.

The Naturals then blew things open in the top of the ninth inning. Kort Peterson singled to right field and moved to second a walk to Khalil Lee. Gabriel Cancel then hit his 10th home run of the year to left field to make the score Northwest Arkansas 7, Springfield 4.

The Cardinals threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning by getting two runners on base but they couldn’t score any runs.

Your final: Naturals 7 Cardinals 4

Marte earned the win for the Naturals to go to 1-3 with Terrero getting his fifth save of the season. Patterson was hung with the loss to fall to 4-3.

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