Corpus Christi's ninth inning comeback fell one run short, as the Cardinals topped the Hooks for the first time at Hammons Field in 2014, 6-5, before a sellout crowd of 7,001 Thursday night.
Trailing 6-2 through eight innings, the Hooks scored three times against Cardinals closer Lee Stoppelman in the top of the ninth. After a Ruben Sosa leadoff single, Andrew Aplin belted his second home run of the night to cut the lead to two. Following a groundout, Carlos Perdomo delivered a pinch-hit single. Delino DeShields then flew out, Rene Garcia walked and Jio Mier reached on an error that plated Perdomo to make it a 6-5 Cardinals lead. Telvin Nash struck out swinging to end the game.
Mike Mayers started the game for the Cardinals and fell behind early. With Tony Kemp on second base, Aplin hit his first long ball of the evening, and third of the season, to put the Hooks up early 2-0. Aplin became the third Hook to post a multi-home run game in 2014, following Preston Tucker and DeShields.
The lead didn't last long as Springfield left the yard thrice. Patrick Wisdom hit his ninth of the season in the second inning, a two-run blast against Hooks starter Jordan Jankowski, to tie the game.
Jankowski (1-3) ran into more trouble in the third inning. With one out Mike O'Neill and Aledmys Diaz delivered back-to-back doubles to score Springfield's third run and later in the frame Jonathan Rodriguez clubbed his seventh homer to extend the Cardinal lead to 5-2.
The Hooks starter left the game after five innings in which he allowed five earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Southpaw Mitch Lambson came on to start the sixth and gave up the second homer of the game to Rodriguez and pushed Springfield's lead to four.
Corpus Christi had trouble mounting any serious threats against Mayers (1-1) from the second through seventh innings, leaving just two runners on base in those six frames. Mayers, making his second Double-A start, tossed seven innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Chris Thomas pitched a one-two-three eighth for the Cardinals before Stoppelman came in and struggled, but ultimately nailed down the Springfield victory.
The Hooks final game at Hammons Field in 2014 is Friday night at 7:10. Mike Hauschild (1-3, 3.27) will start for Corpus Christi against Springfield's Jonathan Cornelius (6-5, 3.84).
-Highlights courtesy KSPR-TV