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Late-Inning Troubles Send Mustangs to Close Loss at Chillicothe

The St. Joseph Mustangs finished their road trip with a 5-4 loss to the Chillicothe Mudcats. Leading 4-0 at the game’s halfway point, the Mustangs conceded five unanswered runs over their final four defensive innings. St. Joe now holds a 12-7 overall record and an 11-7 mark in the M.I.N.K. League.

Mustangs left fielder Easton Bruce opened the scoring in the third, driving in his team-best 18th run with a sacrifice fly. Three more Mustang runs scored in the fifth, as first baseman Ryan Callahan made it 4-0 with his second of three hits on the night. Second baseman Noah Bodenhausen also delivered a three-hit performance for St. Joe.

At the same time, right-hander Tyson Hilsabeck was cruising on the mound. The St. Joe starting pitcher opened the night with four scoreless innings. Though he gave up three runs over his final three frames, Hilsabeck still pitched seven innings with six strikeouts for his second consecutive quality start.

With the Mustangs up 4-3 on the eighth, Hilsabeck gave way to right-hander Jay Greco. The Mudcats greeted him with a single and a walk, placing runners on second and third with one out. The next two hitters would follow with a single and a sacrifice fly, moving Chillicothe ahead 5-4.

In the ninth, St. Joe threatened to reclaim the lead but failed to capitalize with two runners on and one out. The Mustangs went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position during the game’s final three innings.

Now sitting half a game behind both Clarinda and Carroll in the North Division, the Mustangs will host the Ban Johnson Raiders for a non-league game Thursday at 7 p.m.

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