Newport’s Grant Black threw two strikeouts in the ninth inning as the Springfield Cardinals defeated the Arkansas Travelers, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon.
Black, Andre Pallante and Edgar Escobar combined to throw a one-hitter in the win and was the first for the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals since Aug. 11, 2017.
Black, who played at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has had an improbable path to the Minors as a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher.
At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds Black has the size, plus a 95 mile per hour fastball to be a pro but was undrafted and unsigned out of Arkansas-Monticello. Black played Independent League ball for two seasons and drew the Cardinals interest in 2020, right before the pandemic shut down all of baseball for the year.
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Black was credited with the save and it kept the Springfield Cardinals from getting swept as the home-standing Travs won the first five games.