Springfield, MO – RF Anthony Garcia hit two of the club’s four home runs on Saturday, helping power the Springfield Cardinals to the 11-4 win against the Frisco RoughRiders before 6,115 fans at Hammons Field.
The RoughRiders (8-8, 39-47) came out swinging in the top of the first inning against RHP Chris Ellis (W, 1-4). With one away, LF Michael O’Neill was hit by a pitch to reach base. RF Scott Heineman followed with a base hit that moved O’Neill to third, but Heineman was retired on the bases after taking too wide of a turn past first base. With one on and two away, DH Luke Tendler placed an RBI single just out of the diving range of SS Tommy Edman up the middle, bringing in O’Neill for the 1-0 Frisco lead.
The Cardinals (9-7, 44-42), though, came right back in the bottom of the third against RHP Collin Wiles (L, 7-5). Leading off the frame, SS Tommy Edman skied a solo home run over the left field fence, his first Double-A long-ball, evening the score at 1-1.
Springfield then catapulted in front in the bottom of the fourth frame. C Andrew Knizner and DH Darren Seferina sparked the rally with consecutive singles. After RF Anthony Garcia worked a walk to load the bases with no outs, 3B Jacob Wilson skied an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Knizner for the go-ahead run. 1B John Nogowski promptly followed with an RBI single to right field, plating Seferina and stretching the Springfield lead to 3-1.
Ellis posted his fourth straight scoreless inning with a zero in the top of the fifth, closing his outing with just the one run allowed on four hits while striking out six.
The Cards then added to the advantage in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two away and the bases empty, LF Randy Arozarena worked a walk to keep the inning alive. After Arozarena moved to second base on a wild pitch, Knizner placed an RBI single back through the middle, making it 4-1.
Frisco, though, chipped away in the top of the sixth inning against LHP Ian McKinney. DH Luke Tendler opened the inning with a walk, before scoring from first base one out later on an RBI double from 1B Eric Aguilera. After a groundout moved Aguilera to third base, he darted home on an RBI base hit from 2B Andy Ibanez. SS Michael De Leon followed with a deep fly ball to the fence in left field, but Arozarena robbed him with a leaping catch at the wall, getting Springfield out of the inning with a 4-3 lead.
The Cardinals stretched it right back out with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. With RHP Clayton Cook on the mound, RF Anthony Garcia blasted a solo home run to left field. One out later, 1B John Nogowski worked a walk to reach base. Edman ripped a double inside the right field line, moving Nogowski to third base, before a throwing error on the play by C Isiah Kiner-Falefa allowed Nogowski to score with Edman winding up at third base. CF Magneuris Sierra capped the rally with an RBI sacrifice fly that plated Edman, increasing the Cardinals lead to 7-3.
The Cardinals powered in front further in the bottom of the seventh. A pair of walks from Knizner and Seferina set the table, before a three-run blast by Garcia for his second homer of the night and team-leading 13th of the season. The very next batter, 3B Jacob Wilson, followed suit with a solo shot of his own, opening the lead to 11-3.
Frisco received a solo shot from Aguilera in the top of the eighth, but RHP Corey Baker (S, 6) slammed the door with scoreless relief otherwise through the last three innings, closing the 11-4 win for Springfield.