The St. Joseph Mustangs finished a one-sided season series with Des Moines Saturday evening. With a 10-4 win before a team record 6,013 fans, the Mustangs improved to 6-1 against the Peak Prospects this summer. Now 27-13 overall and 25-12 in M.I.N.K. League play, St. Joe sits two and a half games clear of Clardina for first place in the North and has a magic number of six for clinching the top seed.
Right-hander Mason Holton made the start for St. Joseph on the mound. Though he allowed the game’s first two runs on the second, Holton earned his third consecutive quality starts with six innings, nine strikeouts and three runs allowed.
Playing as the Tenderloins for the fourth time this summer, the Mustangs grilled Des Moines pitching. On the heels of a 16-run effort, the St. Joe offense opened with one run in the third, as third baseman Ryan Callahan followed right fielder Brayden Luikart’s two-out double with an RBI single.
St. Joe would take the lead for good in the fourth, scoring a quartet of runs. Coming off a four-RBI performance Friday, designated hitter Jayden Little drilled a two-run triple to the wall in right-center. Luikart and shortstop Cole Slibowski later expanded the Mustangs’ lead with two-out singles.
After Des Moines pulled a run back, the Tenderloins unleashed five more runs in the fifth inning. In the same spot which Little had previously faced, catcher Ben Click rocked a two-run triple to right-center field. The next man up, pinch-hitter Aron Harrington, went the other way as well with an RBI single. Finally, three consecutive walks to the middle of the St. Joe order made it 10-3.
After Holton departed, right-handers Jaren Guck, Jack Wells and Braden Berry combined to pitch three innings of one-run baseball. Though Des Moines scored in the ninth, Berry closed out the game quickly after that.
With just seven regular season games remaining, the Mustangs will hit the road for four games this week. The trip begins Sunday at 7 p.m. in Sedalia.