(Information provided by the Springfield Cardinals)
Corpus Christi, TX - The Springfield Cardinals came within two outs of their first-ever no-hitter, allowing just one hit in the 7-0 shutout win of the Corpus Christi Hooks before 5,218 fans at Whataburger Field on Friday night. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Hooks 1B Jon Singleton broke up the no-hit bid with a double.
Cardinals RHP Ryan Helsley (W, 2-0) dealt a dominant 6.0 innings in his start, no-hitting the Hooks (22-25, 56-61) while on the mound. While not allowing a single hit, Helsley worked around five walks and struck out six batters, closing his hitless performance with a 1.62 ERA through his first three Double-A starts.
RHP Pedro Echemendia followed Helsley's lead with two perfect relief innings in the seventh and eighth to preserve the no-hit bid. However, after a walk and a fly out in the bottom of the ninth, Singleton doubled against RHP Rowan Wick for the Hooks first hit of the night. Wick responded with two quick outs to close the Cardinals fifth all-time 9-inning one-hitter.
While the arms dominated, Springfield (31-17, 66-52) powered in front in the top of the third. With two down and the bases empty, RF Adolis Garcia hammered a solo home run to left field, lifting the Cardinals into the 1-0 lead.
Springfield stretched the advantage in the top of the fourth inning. A one-out double from DH Anthony Garcia started the rally. After Garcia moved to third base on a wild pitch, SS Jacob Wilson brought him in with an RBI single to left-center field, doubling the Cardinals lead to 2-0.
The Cards struck again in the top of the fifth. LF Randy Arozarena led off with a walk, before stealing his way to second base. Two outs later, 2B Eliezer Alvarez placed an RBI single to shallow right field, plating Arozarena from second base to make it 3-0.
RF Adolis Garcia added to the lead in the top of the seventh. After a two-out walk from 3B Darren Seferina, Adolis Garcia belted a two-run shot to left field, his second homer of the night, third in two games since returning from AAA-Memphis and ninth on the year, stretching the lead to 5-0.
The Cardinals added two final runs in the top of the ninth. CF Oscar Mercado led off with a double. Arozarena then tapped a grounder back to the mound that RHP Ryan Thompson fielded but errantly threw past third base, allowing Mercado to score on the play with Arozarena winding up at second. One out later, Adolis Garcia rifled an RBI single to left field for his fourth RBI of the night, accounting for the eventual final score of 7-0 in the Cardinals shutout win.