The Springfield Cardinals used some middle of the game scoring to picked up a 3-1 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at Hammons Field on Sunday night.
The game was developing into a tight defensive game when in the top of the fourth inning, Naturals right fielder Nick Heath singled to left. Khalil Lee then hit a shot to Cardinals shortstop Jose Martinez, who bobbled the ball for an error, allowing Heath to get to second and Lee to reach base.
The runners then executed a double steal, with Heath drawing a throw from Cardinals catcher Jose Godoy that went ten feet above Yariel Gonzalez’s head for the second error of the inning, allowing Heath to score to give the Naturals a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals then used an error to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Jose Martinez reached on a double to right field. Two outs later Johan Mieses walked to put runners on the corners. Naturals pitcher Kowar tried to pick off Mieses at first, but first baseman Castellano couldn’t handle the throw, and in the ensuing scramble for the ball Martinez came in to score, tying the game. Castellano was credited with the error on the play.
In the bottom of the fifth, catcher Jose Godoy lead off the inning with a monster home run to right-center field, traveling well over 440 feet. Cardinals 2, Naturals 1.
Alberto Triunfel and Dylan Carlson then hit back-to-back singles, resulting in Andres Sotillet coming in to replace Naturals starter Kowar. Sotillet then walks both Jose Martinez and Justin Toerner, scoring Triunfel for a 3-1 Cardinals lead.
The Naturals threatened in the ninth inning but after allowing two runners to get into scoring position, Roel Ramirez struck out three in a row to earn his first save.
The winning pitcher for the Cardinals was Angel Rondon, who improves to 3-0 on the year. Losing pitcher for Northwest Arkansas was Jackson Kowar, who falls to 0-1.