In a wacky Mother's Day game that had almost everything, Arkansas was waaaaay down, then came back, then lost Sunday 10-9 to Springfield. It was the fifth loss in a row for the Travelers, who have now lost six of the past seven and are in danger of dropping both series during this current home stand.
To honor mom and the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure-Arkansas, pink jerseys and pink bats were the order of the day.
To help beat breast cancer, the Foundation held a silent auction throughout the game for bidders to claim the pink Traveler uniforms. After a quick inspection about a third of the way through the game, Traveler catcher/DH, Hank Conger's jersey (below) was getting the hottest action.
The game itself was a tale of total opposites.
The Cardinals led 8-0 after five thanks in part to four home runs, two by DH Mark Hamilton, who is seen above connecting on this pitch for his first in the third inning.
The oft-injured slugger appears to be healthy now all right. His first home run on the first pitch he saw from starter Amalio Diaz was a rocket high up on the berm in right field. His second, a huge blast also off Diaz, went in the same direction but cleared everything and landed in the picnic area above the berm.
It looked like Springfield was going to cruise in a laugher, but the Travelers came roaring back. Well, that's not exactly true. In one of the oddest comebacks ever, the Travelers scored nine in the sixth to take the lead. It's how they did it that was the head scratcher.
This mother and grandmother are probably still trying to explain to this child the improbability of what happened Mother's Day afternoon. Let me see if I can summarize.
Arkansas didn't have a runner past second through five, then sent 15 men to the plate in the sixth. Remember when I said the team didn't exactly roar back? Well, the nine runs they scored came on seven walks (five consecutive), three base hits,(all singles), one error, and one hit-by-pitch. Most of the walks in the inning came with bases loaded, and the big blow was a two RBI single by Wilberto Ortiz.
But then Springfield came back in the eighth after a hit by #2 third base prospect Brett Wallace (above) to start the inning and scored twice to ice the game away, taking the first two of the four game series from the Travs.
The Cardinals rung up 17 hits off four Traveler pitchers in a game that lasted three and one-half hours, by far the longest of the season for Arkansas in more ways than one.
Whose back is this and why is he wearing #17? The reveal in a future post.
-- Lonesome Traveler