Springfield, MO – The Springfield Cardinals won the 2017 Regular Season Home Finale against the Arkansas Travelers, 6-2, before the sellout crowd of 8,176 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
The Cardinals remain just 1.0 game behind the Tulsa Drillers for 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings. Springfield closes the 2017 Regular Season with a three-game series in Tulsa this Saturday through Monday.
After a pair of scoreless frames from Springfield RHP Connor Jones (W, 1-0) to begin his Double-A debut, the Cardinals (41-26, 76-61) provided some early run support in the bottom of the second. Facing RHP Chase De Jong (L, 1-3), DH Anthony Garcia and 1B John Nogowski ripped consecutive singles. After C Andrew Knizner was hit by a pitch to load the bases, 3B Jacob Wilson worked an RBI walk to force in the game’s first run and keep the bases full. SS Tommy Edman followed with an RBI fielder’s choice that plated Nogowski from third, opening the Cardinals lead to 2-0.
Jones kept the two-run lead intact with scoreless work through his first 6.0 frames, before Springfield padded the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one on and two away, C Andrew Knizner extended the inning with an infield single. Wilson then launched a three-run blast to right field, his team-best 17th home run of the season, stretching the Cardinals lead to 5-0.
However, Arkansas (31-36, 63-74) broke through against Jones in the top of the seventh. DH Tyler Marlette extended the inning with a two-out walk, followed by a two-run shot from 3B Seth Mejias-Brean to shave the Travelers deficit to 5-2.
The Cardinals countered in the bottom of the seventh against RHP Ralston Cash. Back-to-back singles from CF Oscar Mercado and 2B Darren Seferina started the stanza. After Mercado was retired at third base on a double steal attempt, Seferina was joined on base by DH Anthony Garcia, who worked a walk. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, before Nogowski punched an RBI single through the left side to plate Seferina and make it a 6-2 lead for Springfield.
Bray dealt a scoreless top of the eighth inning, followed by a 1-2-3 top of the ninth from RHP Eric Carter to close the 6-2 win for Springfield.