photo: Yariel Gonzalez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is Palm Beach third baseman Yariel Gonzalez, who hit the winning two-run home run and went 2-for-4. Honorable mention goes to prospect Nolan Gorman, who despite his team’s loss, was 4-for-4 with a double, a triple and two RBI.
Results from games played Friday, April 5.
In the second game of the 2019 opening series with Omaha at Auto Zone Park, the Redbirds were edged by the Storm Chasers. Starter Jake Woodford went five innings, giving up just one unearned run on two hits. The right hander fanned seven and walked two. Tyler Webb followed and surrendered the deciding two runs, one unearned, in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Webb was tagged with both the blown save and the loss. Chasen Shreve tossed the next 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The ninth was taken by Chris Beck, who allowed only one hit and struck out one to finish the game.
The Memphis offense was behind 1-0 entering the bottom half of the fourth inning. Adolis Garcia led off with a double to left. One out later, Max Schrock singled on a line drive to right field to plate Garcia and knot the score.
The Redbirds offense took the 2-1 lead in the fifth when Evan Mendoza led off with a line drive single to right. With one out, Drew Robinson drew an intentional walk. Ramon Urias grounded into a force out that brought Mendoza home. That would be it for Memphis scoring, and Omaha came back two more in the seventh.
The Memphis defense made three errors. Mendoza and reliever Webb each committed a fielding error, and Knizner made a throwing error. On the positive side, center fielder Lane Thomas had an outfield assist at second base. On the base paths, Schrock was picked off first.
Saturday’s game: Memphis vs. Omaha, 6:35 p.m. CT, Ryan Helsley (season debut)
On Friday night at Arvest Park in Springdale, Ark., the Springfield Cardinals blew a six-run lead and lost a close decision to the NW Arkansas Naturals.
The Cards broke out on top with a six-run third inning, fueled by two out magic. Scott Hurst hit an infield single to the shortstop and Dylan Carlson walked. Elehuris Montero reached on a fielding error to load the bases. Newly-returned from Memphis, Johan Mieses singled to left to plate Hurst and Carlson. Connor Capel drew a walk to reload the bases before Brian O’Keefe’s grand slam to left field made the score 6-0.
The Naturals added a run in the bottom of the third. In the top of the fifth, Montero led off with a double and after Mieses struck out, Capel doubled to center to score Montero.
NW Arkansas took the score to 7-5 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, then added two more in the seventh to tie the game. The winning run scored in the eighth.
Right hander Williams Perez started and went 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits. He fanned four and walked two. Jesus Cruz surrendered one run in two innings of relief. Connor Jones blew the save in the seventh and took the loss. Lefty Jacob Patterson threw a scoreless eighth.
The Cardinals committed two throwing errors, by Dylan Carlson and Stefan Trosclair. Capel was caught stealing second base.
Saturday’s game: Springfield at NW Arkansas, 6:05 p.m. CT, Evan Kruczynski (season debut)
Friday night’s contest at Roger Dean Stadium between the Palm Beach Cardinals and Jupiter Hammerheads ended in a win for the Cardinals. Edgar Gonzalez got the start for Palm Beach and was the winning pitcher. Gonzalez pitched five innings and gave up two unearned runs on three hits. The right hander struck out nine batters. Kodi Whitley added two innings of scoreless relief. Lefty Patrick Dayton pitched a scoreless eighth, and Bryan Dobzanski earned his first save with a scoreless ninth.
The Hammerheads jumped ahead with two runs in the top of the first, but the Cardinals answered in the bottom frame with four runs. Justin Toerner drew the leadoff walk. Chase Pinder singled on a ground ball to third. Both runners came in on a throwing error and obstruction charged to the Jupiter third baseman. After Nick Dunn popped out to second, Luken Baker drew a walk. Player of the Day Yariel Gonzalez followed with a two run home run to right field.
Thanks to the aforementioned solid pitching, the 4-2 lead for Palm Beach would remain through the end of the game.
The Cardinals defense committed one error, a throwing error by Baker. Toerner and Nick Plummer were each caught stealing second base.
Saturday’s game: Palm Beach “at” Jupiter, 4:30 p.m. CT, Alex Fagalde (season debut)
The Chiefs were the victims of a shellacking by the Cedar Rapids on Friday night at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids. Despite the loss, it was a good offensive night for top prospect Nolan Gorman. Peoria entered the third inning behind 1-0, but Delvin Perez reached with a single to center. One out later, Gorman smacked a triple to center to score Perez and tie the game.
The tie wouldn’t last long, as Cedar Rapids added two runs in the bottom of the third, and five more in the fifth to pull away. In 2 1/3 innings, Chiefs starter Alvaro Seijas allowed four hits and walked four, with three of them scoring. Franyel Casadilla struggled even more, the victim of the five-spot in the fifth.
In the top of the sixth, Riley led off with a single to right and Gorman followed with an RBI double to right. Gorman later scored on Brendan Donovan’s single. However, in the bottom of the inning, the home club took the runs right back as Chiefs reliever Jim Voyles yielded a two-run long ball.
Fabian Blanco and Edgar Escobar contributed a scoreless inning of relief each and Lars Nootbaar hit a solo home run in the ninth, but the damage had already been done.
Gorman went a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Leandro Cedeño had an outfield assist at home plate.
Saturday’s game: Peoria vs. Beloit (home opener), 6:35 p.m. CT, Cole Aker (full season debut)
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