Maness Lights Up the Fourth
In front of a Independence Day crowd that was the Springfield Cardinal’s 10th largest for a regular-season game in its history, Seth Maness made sure visiting Midland batters didn’t provide any of the fireworks.
The former Pinecrest and East Carolina star shut out the Rock Hounds from Texas on two hits in his seven-inning stint. The Cardinals went on to win the Texas League contest 5-0 before 8,963 fans.
Maness improved to 5-1 with a 2.12 ERA since being promoted from Palm Beach (Fla.) to the Missouri club in late May. Going to the bottom of the seventh inning of a scoreless game, Midland pitcher Gary Daley had allowed only one base hit.
“I was going up and down the dugout saying, ‘Who’s going to be the guy that gets him (Daley)?’” Cardinal left-fielder Chris Swauger told Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader. “They had just told Seth he was done.”
Cardinal batters didn’t exactly give their fans a preview of the fireworks display scheduled for after the game. But they bundled together a hit batter, a Rock Hound error and five hits into a five-run bottom of the seventh. Swauger did his part by getting the first hit of the rally.
“Everybody was wanting to get something for Maness,” Cardinal DH Jake Shaffer said in the News-Leader account. “He was shoving it.”
There was likely a slight buzz in the crowd when Maness issued a two-out walk in the third inning. It was only the sixth one the right-hander has allowed in 101 total innings at Springfield and Palm Beach this season.
When he fell behind 2-1 on the next batter, catcher Audry Perez made a trip to the mound.
“I just kind of loosened up a little bit, I think,” Maness was reported as saying. “I was a little bit frustrated in that second inning. (The strike zone) was a little tight. He told me, ‘Don’t worry about that. Those were strikes and just keep throwing your game.’”
Maness retired 16 of the next 18 batters he faced. He was an 11th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 amateur draft. out of East Carolina.
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