The outing turned out a lot like a tee-ball game, where the ball is smacked by the first-graders with enough eye-hand coordination to make contact and then run to first. There, the throw goes wide and the runner heads for second and then third, since the ball has just been retrieved. The inexplicable throw to third (with the runner standing on the bag) goes wide, and a routine out turns into an inside-the-park home run.
The ball wasn’t served up on a tee, but the performance and outcome was nearly the same. The Springfield Cardinals out-fumbled the Tulsa Drillers to eventually lose the game 11-17 on Tuesday.
The Drillers jumped out to an eight-to-nothing lead, including a two-run shot by Wilin Rosario in the top of the first inning. Another two runs and another home run from Brian Rike gave Tulsa a four-zip lead in the second, and by the end of the third, the Drillers had added another homer from Bronson Sardinha and three other runs.
The Cardinals cut into the lead, but the Drillers still had a solid nine-five edge in the bottom of the seventh.
It wasn’t enough. Throwing errors and bobbled fielding opportunities allowed six runs by the Cardinals in the bottom half of the inning, giving Springfield a 10-9 lead.
That wasn’t the end of it.
The Drillers bounced back in the top of the eighth, pounding out six runs and added another two in the ninth for the eventual win, 17-11. Tulsa recorded seven home runs in the outing.
It was a little like Texas League tee-ball.
The teams will match up again Wednesday night in Springfield.