Springfield, MO – The 1st-Half North Division Champion Springfield Cardinals set a team record with seven home runs, powering past the Corpus Christi Hooks, 14-5, before 4,426 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
1B Luke Voit and C Luis Cruz helped lead the charge with two home runs apiece, while 3B Paul DeJong, RF Allen Staton and CF Blake Drake each contributed one homer. Voit led all Cardinals with four hits and five RBIs in the barrage, as Springfield set season highs with 14 runs and 16 hits.
The Cardinals (7-7, 48-36) came out swinging, powering in front with a four-run rally in the bottom of the first against LHP Evan Grills (L, 3-2). LF Jonathan Rodriguez sparked the offense with a leadoff double inside the left field line. RF Allen Staton laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Rodriguez to third, before Grills retired 2B Bruce Caldwell for the frame’s second out. However, 1B Luke Voit came through with an RBI single to shallow left field, plating Rodriguez and keeping the inning alive. 3B Paul DeJong followed with a single to left-center, moving Voit to third. C Luis Cruz then brought both runners home with a towering three-run home run, his first in Double-A, to swing Springfield into the 4-0 lead.
Cardinals RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (W, 5-4) posted a quick, scoreless inning in the top of the second, before Springfield crushed three more home runs against Grills in the bottom of the second. With one away, SS Juan Herrera and Rodriguez knocked consecutive singles, setting the table for Staton. Staton unloaded a three-run home run to left field, his first in Double-A, stretching the lead to 7-0 with one big swing. One out later, Voit and DeJong crushed back-to-back solo blasts, Voit’s 11th homer of the year and DeJong’s 14th, powering the advantage to 9-0.
The Hooks (8-7, 55-30), though, started chipping away in the top of the third inning. With one down, RF Alejandro Garcia and C Garrett Stubbs collected consecutive singles. After SS Jack Mayfield was hit by a pitch to load the bases, CF Derek Fisher belted a grand slam to right-center field, slicing the Hooks deficit to 9-4.
Corpus Christi struck with a solo shot from C Garrett Stubbs in the top of the fifth, but the Cardinals came right back with two more homers in the bottom of the fifth. Leading off the inning, Cruz hit his second home run of the night, a solo shot, before CF Blake Drake followed with a solo blast to left field, his first in Double-A. It marked the second time the Cardinals went back-to-back with home runs in the game and tied a Springfield Cardinals single game record with six team home runs in the game, stretching the lead to 11-5.
The Cardinals kept pounding in the bottom of the sixth against RHP Eric Peterson. Staton started the stanza with a double, before Peterson battled back with a strikeout. Voit, though, struck again with an RBI single to left-center, scoring Staton with his third RBI of the game to make it 12-5.
Voit and Springfield dealt one final blow in the bottom of the eighth. With Staton on at first base and two away, Voit drove his second homer of the day to left field, a two-run shot for his fourth and fifth RBIs of the game to make it 14-5, the eventual final score. The seventh home run of the game for the Cardinals, it set a Springfield all-time record for most home runs in one game and capped a historic night at Hammons Field.