On a miserable, misty night in Springfield, a few fans (much less than the 3,000 announced) witnessed a 9th inning implosion. Previously untouchable closer Dean Kiekhefer had a night he would like to forget.
The Cardinals built a 4-2 lead on the back of David Popkins four RBI night and a strong performance by starter Jon Cornelius. Temperatures dropped into the mid 40’s, and the bats of NW Arkansas began to heat up.
NW Arkansas tallied seven hits and seven runs against Kiekhefer in the ninth. The last blow was a two run homer by Mark Threlkeld. When Kiekhefer’s night was finally over, he saw his season ERA rise from a tidy 0.00 to 6.10.
The Cardinals attempted a comeback with three runs in the 9th, but fell a few runs short. Final was NW Arkansas 9, Springfield 7. The Cardinals don’t have much time to think about the loss, with an 11:10 start today at Hammons Field.