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Berry Rakes, Dryburgh Plays Everywhere in 7-5 Win

In a game featuring two one seeds with nothing to play for, the St. Joseph Mustangs had some fun in their season finale at Joplin. Will Drybugh played every position on the field for an inning, a horde of pitchers received at-bats and several position players made their summer debuts on the mound. In the end, the Mustangs won 7-5, finishing the season 31-16 overall and 29-15 in M.I.N.K. League play.

The scoring began in the fourth inning, when back-to-back bases-loaded walks from first baseman Aron Harrington and catcher Ben Click made it 2-0 Mustangs. Joplin evened the score in the bottom half, as right-handed Jase Johnson pitched the final inning of his starting debut for the season.

An inning later, second baseman Jayden Little pushed St. Joe back in front with an RBI single. But the Outlaws again erased the deficit quickly, scoring two unearned runs against Cole Slibowski.

With the help of scoreless innings from Will Dryburgh and Michael Paule, the Mustangs evened the score in the seventh. Outfielder Easton Bruce provided the run with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the seventh, a pair of St. Joe pitchers combined for a double play in the field. Left fielder Andrew Clark made a running catch in the gap and fired a missile to Braden Berry, who dove to the bag at first in time.

Berry would again get involved as the Mustangs took the lead in the eighth. He walloped a leadoff double before scoring on catcher Oscar Pegg’s single. However, Joplin also scored in the eighth, taking a 5-5 tie to the ninth inning.

St. Joe took the lead for good in the top of the ninth, pushing two runs across. First, Paule singled in Camden Lutz, who had opened the inning with a walk. Then, with Paule at third, Berry intentionally placed himself in a rundown between first and second, allowing a second run to score. Easton Bruce would strike out a pair in the bottom of the ninth, earning the win and sealing a Mustang victory.

The Mustangs will play their first postseason game Tuesday in the Divisional Round. They will take on the winner of Monday’s Wild Card between the Carroll Merchants and Clarinda A’s.

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