The St. Joseph Mustangs improved to 25-11 overall and 23-11 in M.I.N.K. League play with a doubleheader sweep at Des Moines Tuesday. With both games lasting seven innings, St. Joe took the first 4-2 before blanking the Peak Prospects 12-0.
Game one saw right-hander Tyson Hilsabeck pick up his fifth win of the season. The Mustangs’ Opening Day starter threw all seven innings, allowing two runs on one hit.
Meanwhile, the St. Joe offense produced consistently throughout the evening. Shortstop Michael Paule grounded out in the second with two in scoring position, making it 1-0 Mustangs. An inning later, first baseman Ryan Callahan added a second run on a sacrifice fly. Then, in the seventh, center fielder Brayden Luikart poked an opposite-field single to make it 4-0. Des Moines would score two in their final half-inning, but Hilsabeck shut the door.
In game two, right-hander Andrew Clark bounced back masterfully after a previous tough outing at Des Moines. On July 2, the Peak Prospects tagged him for eight runs as he walked seven. But Clark returned as a completely different pitcher Tuesday, twirling seven shutout innings with a horde of ground balls.
After scoring one total run in Clark’s last start, the Mustang offense came up with two in the first. Second baseman Will Dryburgh then wrapped a fourth-inning double to the left-field corner, extending the early lead to 4-0. Later in that inning, right fielder Brayden Luikart broke the game open with a bases-clearing double to left-center. Already up seven, the Mustangs would add five more runs in the sixth, finishing off a game-two blowout.
The Mustangs will make another trip to Iowa to face the Carroll Merchants at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. St. Joe has opened up a 7.5-game lead on the fourth-place Merchants and is a game and a half clear of Clarinda for first place.