Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SPORTS >> This time Travelers fall short

Leader sports editor

The victories stopped but the ninth-inning rallies kept on coming.

The Arkansas Travelers rallied in the ninth for the third consecutive game but saw their three-game winning streak come to an end as Springfield held them off for a 5-4 victory in 11 innings at Hammons Field on Monday.

Travelers first baseman Jay Brossman hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth but Cardinals designated hitter Jermaine Curtis followed a Brossman error with an RBI single in the 11th to win it.

Brossman made it 4-4 in the ninth when, with two out, he lined reliever Matt Frevert’s 0-2 fastball over the left-field wall. But Brossman dropped Eric Duncan’s hard liner in the 11th for Arkansas’ first error in six games and Alan Ahmady followed with a single that advanced Duncan to third when the throw in from the outfield was off line.

Curtis, pinch hitting for Chris Swaguer, followed with his game-winning hit.

Mike Trout hit a leadoff home run in the Arkansas first to make it 1-0 and Springfield’s Matt Adams tied it with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.

Arkansas’ Dillon Baird hit his first Class AA home run, a two-run drive, that made it 3-1 in the Travelers third.

Swaguer tied it 3-3 with a two-run home run in the fourth and Springfield took the 4-3 lead when Adams led off the sixth with his 10th home run of the year and second of the series.

Travelers closer Ryan Brasier (0-1) worked 2 1/3 innings and was charged with the loss thanks to the unearned run in the 11th. Richard Castillo (1-1) pitched a perfect 11th to get the victory.

On Sunday, Arkansas scored eight runs in the ninth and beat Springfield 10-6 to win its third straight after dropping four.

Arkansas sent 10 to the plate in the big inning with Brossman hitting a grand slam and Trout, the Los Angeles Angels top prospect, also hitting a home run.

The Travs had a season high 15 hits with Ryan Mount getting three.

Reliever Daniel Sattler worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up three runs in getting the victory and Chris Scholl pitched a perfect ninth for the save. Cards reliever Brett Sawacki, roughed up in the ninth, took the loss.

Arkansas started its run of ninth-inning heroics Saturday when Mount crushed a three-run homer with two out in the inning to lift the Travelers to a 5-4 victory. Mount lined Frevert’s 1-1 fastball over the fence in center to break out of a 1-for-15 slump.

Eddie McKiernan (1-3) pitched four relief innings to get the victory as Arkansas rallied from an early, 3-0 deficit. Matt Adams hit a two-run homer and Ryan Jackson also hit a home run, with both drives coming against Arkansas starter Andrew Taylor.

Trout drove in a run when he hit into a fielder’s choice in the fifth and Clay Fuller had an RBI groundout to cut it to 3-2 in the seventh. Nick Derba homered off McKiernan in the Cardinals seventh to make it 4-2.

Frevert hit Trout and walked Darwin Perez to set up Mount’s big home run and McKiernan survived a Cards base runner in the ninth to close it out.

The Travelers ended their four-game skid 11-3 at Tulsa.