Needing momentum ahead of a four-game road trip, the St. Joseph Mustangs dominated the Des Moines Peak Prospects Saturday at Phil Welch Stadium. Winning 11-2, the Mustangs climbed to 14-8 overall and 12-8 in the M.I.N.K. League. They also gained half a game of North Division ground on both Clarinda and Carroll, which split doubleheaders Saturday.
Mustangs starting pitcher Brandon Stone, who will be shut down for the remainder of the summer by Johnson County Community College, made his final outing his best. The right-hander tossed seven innings, allowing one earned run and striking out seven. Improving as his start progressed, Stone retired 13 of his last 14 batters faced. He now has an earned run average of 2.14 with a league-high 30 strikeouts.
At the plate, first baseman Ryan Callahan had his way. The powerful lefty went 4-for-5 with two triples, a double, a single and three runs batted in. Also scoring four runs, Callahan already leads the Mustangs with three triples despite playing his first game on June 15.
Though Des Moines scored one run in both the second and third innings, St. Joe’s offensive onslaught put the game away early. Designated hitter Jeremy Rader tied the game with a double in the second, setting up catcher Ben Click for a go-ahead single to left-center. Two more runs would score in the inning, as shortstop Cole Slibowski doubled for the second consecutive game to make it 4-1.
In the third, right fielder Trevor McCollum reached ahead of Callahan, who scored him with his first triple of the evening. Rader then drove in his second run in two at-bats with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Mustangs would again score four runs in the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, Callahan swatted a double to drive in two. Left fielder Easton Bruce followed up with a two-run single to right, extending his team-leading RBI total to 22.
With 10 runs on the board, St, Joe breezed through the game’s final five innings. Callahan’s second triple set up run number 11 in the sixth. Right-handers Jaren Guck and Ryker Curry combined to close the game out with one scoreless inning each,
The Mustangs will open their road trip in Nevada with a 7 p.m. Sunday game against the Griffons. St. Joe has outscored Nevada 35-6 in three victories this summer.