The St. Joseph Mustangs began their first road trip of the 2023 season with an emphatic victory in Nevada. Led by a two-home run, seven-RBI effort from center fielder Easton Bruce, the Mustangs won 15-0 in seven innings. With the result, St. Joe improves to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in M.I.N.K. League play.
Already with seven RBI to his name at the plate, Mason Holton toed the Mustangs’ slab for the first time this season. He threw six shutout innings to earn the win, striking out six and walking only two along the way. In both the first and fourth innings, Holton stranded a Griffon baserunner at third.
After sitting dormant for the first five innings of Saturday’s win, St. Joe’s offense wasted little time firing up in Nevada. Right fielder Ike Book led off the second inning with a double, coming around to score on a groundout by left fielder Will Dryburgh. Then, catcher Oscar Pegg dashed home on a wild pitch, gifting the Mustangs a 2-0 advantage.
An inning later, the visitors added on. Shortstop Cole Slibowski connected on a run-scoring single, making it 3-0 with nobody out. Bruce then began his spectacular night with an RBI triple to right. Finally, Book earned yet another two-bagger, scoring Bruce for the Mustangs’ fifth run of the evening.
Though the St. Joe bats quieted down in the middle innings, they exploded back onto the scene in the seventh. With one out, Bruce started the party with the Mustangs’ first home run of 2023. A two-run shot, it sailed over the right-field fence, triggering a bat flip from Bruce. St. Joe then loaded the bases, scoring a pair of runs on a Nevada error.
Down 9-0, the Griffons made a last-ditch move to the bullpen, but the damage was not done. Consecutive runs scored on a walk and hit-by-pitch, bringing Bruce to the dish one more time with the bases loaded. On an elevated offering, he walloped his second long ball of the inning, a grand slam to the right. In that seventh frame, St. Joe set new season highs with 10 runs and 14 batters brought to the plate.
With the lead up to 15 runs, the Mustangs called upon Frank Gall to take them home. Making his season debut, he retired the side in order, wrapping up a dominant team victory.
The Mustangs will return to action Monday night for a M.I.N.K. League Championship rematch with the Joplin Outlaws. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Joe Becker Memorial Stadium.