July 25, 2008

Jay's walk-off hit in 10th a winner at Hammons Field

Springfield Cardinals (AA): Won in extra innings last night, 2-1, edging the Arkansas Travelers.

Cards' starter Adam Ottavino gave up one run in the first inning, then locked in, engaging the Travelers' Amalio Diaz in a pitching duel that would run seven scoreless innings. Ottavino would be relieved by Joshua Dew in the eighth, but not before Ottavino would tally seven strikeouts.

Dew hurled one inning opposite Diaz, who go a full eight, striking out nine AA-Cards.

Luke Gregerson took over in the ninth, down 1-0, the Travelers unable to score.

The Cards, on the other hand, had to score or walk off of Hammons Field as losers.

Jon Jay led off the ninth, reaching on a fielding error by Travelers' closer Stephen Marek. Jay would then advance to second on an Allen Craig ground out. Mark Shorey failed to move Jay along, striking out. But Andrew Brown picked him up, singling Jay home to tie the game at 1-apiece.

Gregerson held the Travelers' tenth inning at-bats to a couple ground outs and a pop out.

The AA-Cards made the bottom of the tenth an exciting half-inning for the Hammons Field crowd.

Brandon Yarbrough drew a leadoff walk. Isa Garcia attempted to get him into scoring position, but a foul ball on a third strike bunt attempt found him putting himself out.

The inning almost ended a bust when Tyler Greene hit a ground ball to short, but the Travelers could not turn a double play, forcing Yarbrough out at second but Greene reaching first, now with two outs.

The Travelers changed pitchers, bringing in Doug Brandt.

Needing a base runner in scoring position, the AA-Cards gambled, Greene stealing second base.

Jon Jay then came through with a walk-off single which scored Greene from second base, the AA-Cards nipping the Travelers 2-1 in extra innings.

The winning pitcher was Gregerson (6-5, 4.03)

Jon Jay went 2-for-5, with his aforementioned double, scoring the other run, as well as the game winning hit and RBI.

The 6,600-plus crowd at Hammons Field outdrew last night's attendance at AutoZone Park, home of the Class AAA Memphis Redbirds, by approximately 400.