Tulsa, OK – After tying it in the eighth and taking the lead in the 10th, the 1st-Half North Division Champion Springfield Cardinals topped the Tulsa Drillers, 4-3, in 10 innings before 4,736 fans at ONEOK Field on Tuesday night. With back-to-back wins to start the three-game set, the Cardinals have guaranteed the series win and now go for the sweep on Wednesday night.
Cardinals RHP J.C. Sulbaran and Drillers RHP Scott Barlow exchanged a pair of scoreless innings apiece to start the contest, before Tulsa (16-16, 53-48) cracked the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. With one down, SS Tim Locastro singled himself on and quickly swiped second, getting into scoring position. 2B Willie Calhoun followed with a walk, before C Kyle Farmer pulled an RBI double to left field, scoring Locastro for the 1-0 Drillers lead.
The Cardinals (13-19, 54-48) battled right back in the top of the fourth against Barlow. With one down, 3B Paul DeJong reached on a throwing error charged to 3B Jordan Tarsovich. 1B Luke Voit then worked a walk, advancing DeJong into scoring position at second base. One out later, C Luis Cruz laced an RBI single to right-center field, bringing in DeJong to square the score at 1-1.
The Drillers, though, tilted the lead right back in their direction in the bottom of the fourth. LF Kyle Garlick started the inning with a triple that he knocked off the top of the left-center field fence. The next batter, 1B Cody Bellinger, quickly brought in Garlick with an RBI sacrifice fly, lifting the Drillers into the 2-1 advantage.
Tulsa promptly stretched it to a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth. Leading off the inning, pinch-hitting OF Jacob Scavuzzo skied a solo shot to left field, making it a 3-1 lead for the Drillers.
With Sulbaran out after five innings, RHP Nick Frey made his Double-A debut to start the sixth. Just promoted from Low-A Peoria today, Frey dealt a pair of scoreless relief innings, striking out a pair and keeping the Cardinals only down by two runs through seven.
Springfield then battled back once again in the top of the eighth. Facing LHP Jordan Schafer, SS Juan Herrera ripped a single to start the stanza, his second of three hits on the night. Pinch-hitting OF Jhohan Acevedo followed with a walk, before Schafer dug in to strike out CF Nick Martini. RHP Gus Schlosser took over to face 2B Allen Staton and dealt a strikeout as well for the second out. With two on and two down, DeJong came through with a two-run double to right-center field, scoring Herrera and Acevedo from second and first, respectively, and tying the game at 3-3. It marked DeJong’s team-leading 61st and 62nd RBIs of the season.
RHP Ronnie Shaban (W, 6-2) kept the tie intact with a scoreless eighth and ninth, forcing extra innings with the score even at 3-3.
The Cardinals wasted no time in extra innings, jumping in front in the top of the 10th against RHP Joe Broussard (L, 3-1). Herrera started the charge with his third single of the night, before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Shaban. Martini then lined a base hit to right field, sending Herrera to third base. With Staton up, Martini swiped second on the first pitch. Staton then skied an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, deep enough to bring in Herrera for the go-ahead run and 4-3 lead.
The Drillers did not make it easy, getting two men into scoring position in the bottom of the 10th. LHP Justin Wright retired the first out on one pitch, but then a Garlick single and a Bellinger walk put two men on. Wright gave way to RHP Kevin Herget (S, 7), but a wild pitch moved the runners to third and second, putting the tying run only ninety feet away. Herget battled back to strike out pinch-hitting C Vinny DiFazio, before inducing a game-ending fly out from Tarsovich, as the Cardinals hung on for the 4-3 win in 10 innings.