Springfield, MO – RHP Zac Gallen dealt 6.0 two-run frames while adding a two-run single, helping pace the Springfield Cardinals to the 7-6 win against the Tulsa Drillers before 3,121 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.
The Drillers (19-14, 52-51) seized the early lead with one run in the top of the second inning against RHP Zac Gallen (W, 4-2). With one away, 2B Erick Mejia doubled himself on, before racing home on an RBI double by LF Quincy Latimore for the 1-0 lead for Tulsa.
The Cardinals (21-12, 56-47), however, countered right away in the bottom of the second against RHP Andrew Sopko (L, 2-6). 1B John Nogowski and LF Randy Arozarena collected consecutive singles, followed by a booming three-run home run from 3B Jacob Wilson to left field, his 12th long-ball of the season to swing Springfield into the 3-1 advantage.
Gallen dealt scoreless frames in the third and fourth, before helping his own cause in the bottom of the fourth. Wilson worked a walk to start the stanza, followed one out later by a double chopped inside the right field line from SS Tommy Edman, putting runners at second and third. Gallen followed with a high chopper of his own, bouncing it over the drawn in infield and 2B Erick Mejia, bringing home Wilson and Edman to make it 5-1.
Springfield stretched the lead further in the bottom of the fifth. Nogowski again served as the catalyst, singling himself on to start the frame. Arozarena worked a walk, followed by a fielder’s choice from Wilson that put Cardinals at the corners with one away. With C Andrew Knizner at bat, Sopko uncorked a wild pitch that skipped away, allowing Nogowski to dart home from third for the 6-1 lead.
The Drillers began battling back in the top of the sixth. With one away, RF Henry Ramos reached with a single, quickly then racing home from first base on an RBI double by 1B Jose Fernandez to shave the Drillers deficit to 6-2.
RHP Andrew Morales dealt a pair of scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth, before the Cardinals padded the lead in the bottom of the eighth. With two away, Edman singled himself on, before quickly racing all the way home on a pinch-hit RBI triple from INF Danny Diekroeger to increase the lead to 7-2.
Tulsa refused to go down without a fight, rallying in the top of the ninth against RHP Rowan Wick. With one on and two down, C Brant Whiting kept the game alive with an infield single. Pinch-hitting OF Blake Gailen followed with an RBI base hit, before CF Tim Locastro belted a three-run blast to left field, bringing Tulsa within one run of tying the game. Wick, however, battled right back with a game-ending strikeout and the Cardinals clung to the 7-6 win.