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Mustangs' Rally Falls Short in First Home Loss of 2023

The St. Joseph Mustangs fell at home for the first time this season Wednesday night. Losing 7-6 to the Chillicothe Mudcats, the Mustangs dropped to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the M.I.N.K. League.

Right-hander Tyson Hilsabeck made the start for St. Joe, his second of the summer. He worked a spotless first but conceded the game’s first run on a second-inning single.

The Mustangs responded by batting around and scoring three in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and the bases empty, three consecutive batters were hit, loading the bases for catcher Ben Click. He served a single into shallow center field, driving in a pair of runs to take the lead. Another walk and hit-by-pitch followed, extending St. Joe’s advantage to 3-1.

After that, the game’s momentum swung back to the Chillicothe side. The Mudcats scored one in the fifth, then loaded the based with nobody out in the sixth, chasing Hlsabeck from the game. His replacement, right-hander Ryker Curry limited the damage effectively, inducing a groundball double play and allowing just one run. However, that run tied the game up at three.

An inning later, Chillicothe loaded the bases again on an error and two hit batsmen. All three of those runs came in to score on a single and two sacrifice flies, pushing the Mudcats ahead 6-3.

Mustangs right-hander Brandon Stone allowed one more unearned run in the ninth. With three outs remaining on the offensive side, St. Joe trailed 7-3. The Mustangs made the first two outs fairly quickly but took a long time getting to the final out. With runners on second and third, three straight hit batsmen and a walk scored three runs, loading the bases for shortstop Cole Slibowski at the top of the order. However, he went down looking, ending the game and making the Mustangs 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position on the night.

The Mustangs now set their sights on avenging their first loss of the season against Joplin. St. Joe will host the Outlaws for back-to-back games, beginning Thursday at 7 p.m.

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