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Jermaine Curtis hit by a pitch during Game 2 of the Texas League Championships at Hammons Field. The Springfield Cardinals went on to beat the Frisco RoughRiders 6-4. Image by KTTS News
The Springfield Cardinals are just one win away from a Texas League title, using a six run bottom of the 8th inning to beat the Frisco RoughRiders 6-4 Wednesday night at Hammons Field.
The Cardinals now lead the best of five series, 2-0, as the finals shift to Frisco for games three, four, and five (if necessary) beginning Friday. Springfield has three chances to win just one game for the first league championship in team history.
Springfield, playing in front of a crowd of 3,248, had just three hits going into the 8th and was down 4-0, but sent ten batters to the plate, six of them reaching consecutively. Mike O'Neill started it with a walk, then Kolten Wong and Jermaine Curtis were retired. Oscar Taveras doubled, Jamie Romak walked, Greg Garcia singled to drive in a run. Then it was Xavier Scruggs driving in two runs with a base hit. Adam Melker tied it with a single, then Audrey Perez plated the go ahead runs with a double and the Cardinals had a 6-4 lead.
The fans were on their feet, cheering every pitch as Keith Butler struck out the side in the 9th to earn the save. Deryk Hooker, who worked a scoreless 8th for Springfield, picked up the win. Ross Wolf, who gave up four of the Cardinals runs in the comeback inning, was saddled with the loss.
Just one night after the Cardinals got a great effort from starting pitcher Carlos Martinez and shutout the RoughRiders 5-0, Frisco starter Nick Tepesch hurled 6 1/3 innings of three hit ball, striking out five. Springfield's starting pitcher, Seth Maness, gave up two runs (neither earned).
Frisco scored the first run of the night in the 3rd inning without the benefit of a hit. An error by Cardinals shortstop Greg Garcia allowed Jared Hoying to reach base to start the inning. Jared Prince was hit by a pitch from Maness, then Guilder Rodriguez moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Leadoff man Engel Beltre's groundout scored Hoying to make it 1-0 Frisco.
The RoughRiders struck again in the top of the 5th, getting an RBI single off the bat of Rodriguez to go up 2-0.
Texas Rangers All Star catcher Mike Napoli, who's rehabbing with Frisco, hit a bomb over the left field wall in the top of the 8th that gave the RoughRiders a 4-0 advantage and seemingly all the momentum.
The Cardinals are scheduled to send Kevin Siegrist (1-2, 3.62 ERA) to the mound in game three against Frisco's Barret Loux (14-1, 3.47 ERA). First pitch down in Texas is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday.
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