The St. Joseph Mustangs rallied back into the win column Thursday night, defeating the Joplin Outlaws 9-6. With 12 total offensive walks and a five-run seventh inning, the Mustangs evened the season series with Joplin and collected their fourth come-from-behind win this season. St. Joe now holds a 5-2 overall record and a 4-2 total in M.I.N.K. League play.
In the second inning, the Mustangs scored the game’s opening run for the first time since Sunday. Working three walks and stealing three bases, St. Joe grabbed two runs and brought eight hitters to the plate.
On the other side, left-hander Frank Gall made his starting pitching debut for the Mustangs. After his offense took the early lead, Gall walked three hitters to load the bases with two outs in the third. However, he denied the Joplin three-hole hitter with a strikeout, his third of five on the night.
Gall made it through four scoreless innings but surrendered the lead in the fifth. Joplin’s top four hitters in the lineups combined to drive in four runs, three of them coming with two outs. As right-hander Braden Berry relieved Gall and made his summer debut, Joplin used a leadoff walk to add another run in the sixth.
Trailing 5-2, St. Joe nearly answered back with three in the bottom half of the sixth. With one run already home, center fielder Trevor McCollum knocked a bases-loaded single into center field. The lead runner scored, but first baseman Aron Harrington was cut down at home plate with a chance to tie the game.
Another leadoff walk helped the Outlaws rebuild a two-run lead in the seventh, but that was their last look at the lead. After the seventh-inning stretch, the Mustangs kept the fans on their feet with four consecutive one-out baserunners. Harrington pushed St. Joe ahead with a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Then, leadoff-hitting second baseman Noah Bodenhausen dumped a single into center, scoring two vital insurance runs. Bodenhausen ended the night with three runs batted in.
Pitching in the lead for the first time, Berry locked in on the mound. He retired six of the final seven Outlaw hitters, striking out five of them. With seven total punchouts in four strong innings of work, Berry earned the win.
Joplin and St. Joseph will meet again Friday at Phil Welch Stadium for another 7 p.m. game.