North Little Rock, AR – The Springfield Cardinals exploded for 13 runs on 19 hits to run away with a 13-7 win against the Arkansas Travelers before 5,068 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park on Saturday night.
The Cardinals (10-19, 43-56) came out swinging with four runs in the top of the first against RHP Nathan Bannister (L, 6-7). After a one-out triple from DH Lane Thomas, he darted home on an RBI groundout from SS Evan Mendoza. 1B John Nogowski worked a two-out walk to extend the inning for LF Johan Mieses, who crushed a two-run shot to left field. C Andrew Knizner came up next and followed suit with a solo shot to center field, opening it to a 4-0 lead.
An RBI single from Thomas in the second made it 5-0, before the Travs (16-11, 51-46) got on the board against RHP Mike O’Reilly with two runs in the second.
RBI singles by CF Blake Drake and 2B Luke Dykstra in the third opened the Cardinals lead back to five runs, 7-2, but the Travs again battled back in the bottom of the fourth. With two on and no outs, 2B Donnie Walton pulled a three-run homer to right field, shaving the Cardinals lead to 7-5.
Both sides traded a run in the sixth, before Springfield struck for two more in the seventh. 3B Chris Chinea started the inning with a double, before racing home one out later on an RBI double by 2B Luke Dykstra. Dykstra then came home on an RBI single from LF Victor Roache, making it 10-6.
Springfield kept swinging in the top of the eighth, which they opened with back-to-back singles from Nogowski and Mieses, his career-high fourth hit of the night. Knizner brought in Nogowski with an RBI sac fly, before Chinea moved Mieses to third with his second double of the night. Drake then rifled a two-run base hit to left field, bringing in both runners and stretching the lead to 13-6.
RHP Will Latcham posted a scoreless bottom of the eighth and worked around one run in the ninth, closing the 13-7 win for the Cardinals.