The Springfield Cardinals paid tribute to our fighting men and women at Hammons Field on Saturday night, but couldn’t bring home the victory in the game as they fell to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, 12-5.
Naturals leadoff hitter Nick Heath set the tone early with a triple to start the game. He scored when the next batter, Khalil Lee, singled to right, giving the Naturals the very early 1-0 advantage.
Gabriel Cancel reached first on a fielder’s choice that forced out Lee, and went to second on a single from Emmanuel Rivera. Taylor Featherston was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Meibrys Viloria.
Viloria then hit a double to the gap in right-center to score all three runners and give the Naturals a 4-0 lead after a half inning of play.
The Cardinals picked up a run in the bottom of the inning. The first three batters, Dylan Carlson, Kramer Robertson and Evan Mendoza all reached without a hit. Carlson was hit by a pitch, Robertson walked and Mendoza reached on the very rare catcher’s interference. Carlson scored when Randy Azorarena hit into a double play. 4-1 Naturals.
Brian O’Keefe singled to right field to score Robertson, cutting the lead to 4-2, but that’s all the Cardinals could manage in the inning.
The Naturals struck again in the top of the third inning. Gabriel Cancel lead off the inning with home run to center field to make the score 5-2 Northern Arkansas. Emmanuel Rivera was walked, and Kort Peterson made the Cardinals pay with a two run home run, his fifth of the year, to give the Naturals a 7-2 advantage.
The Cards picked up a pair in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to the longball. Alberto Triunfel singled with two outs and Dylan Carlson followed with his 9th home run fo the year, deep to right center field. Naturals 7 Cardinals 4.
In the top of the fifth, the Naturals picked up another run on the suicide squeeze. Meibrys Viloria singled and went to third on a double by Travis Jones. D.J. Burt dropped the suicide squeeze bunt to pitcher Johan Oviedo allowing Viloria to score. 8-4 Naturals.
The Cardinals cut the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Dylan Carlson lead off the inning with a double to right field and scored when Kramer Robertson singled to center. 8-5 Naturals.
After a 47 minute rain delay, the Naturals came out in the top of the eighth inning to add more runs to the board.
D.J. Burt walked followed by a Nick Heath single. Khalil Lee was nicked by a pitch to load the bases. Gabriel Cancel then pushed a single through a drawn-in infield to score Burt and extend the Naturals lead to 9-5.
Emmanuel Rivera then walked, scoring Heath, making it 10-5 Naturals.
Kort Peterson then hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing out Rivera, but allowing Lee to score. Naturals 11 Cardinals 5.
The Naturals added another run in the top of the ninth inning when Meibrys Viloria scored on an RBI triple to right center from Travis Jones. 12-5 Naturals, which was your final score.
The winning pitcher for Northwest Arkansas was Brady Singer, who allowed only two earned runs in five innings to win his Double A debut. Losing pitcher for the Cardinals was Johan Oviedo, who gave up eight earned runs in five innings and fell to 1-2 on the year.