Freese forces Game 7 with walk-off HR in 11th

October 28, 2011, 4:51 am
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After putting together two separate two-run rallies to tie the game in the 9th and 10th innings, the Cardinals stole an elimination game on David Freese's solo home run to lead off the 11th, forcing a decisive Game 7 against the Rangers.

Down to their last strike on two separate occasions, the St. Louis Cardinals didn't quit.

"You had to be here to believe it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Freese, who went to high school in nearby Wildwood, MO, went 2-5 with 3 RBIs and the biggest hit of his young career. His shot to center in the 11th forced the first World Series Game 7 since the Giants lost to the Angles in 2002. It also led to a mob scene at home plate, where Freese's Cardinal teammates ripped his jersey off during the celebration.

"Just an incredible feeling, seeing all my teammates at the dish waiting for me," Freese said.

A three-run seventh gave the Rangers a 7-4 lead and put Texas nine outs away from the first World Series title in franchise history. But the Cardinals cut the lead to 7-5 in the eighth and tied the game in the ninth on Freese's two-run triple off closer Neftali Feliz.

In the top of the 10th inning, Josh Hamilton gave the Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium a gut punch with a tie-breaking two-run home run. But St. Louis quickly responded, this time on Lance Berkman's two-out single off Scott Feldman.

"I understand it's not over till you get that last out," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I was just sitting there praying we got that last out. We didn't get it."