After suffering back-to-back losses this past week to the Jefferson City Renegades, the St. Joseph Mustangs finally got back on track as they defeated the Clarinda A’s on Wednesday at Phil Welch Stadium 6-2.
After beating the A’s 13-3 in just seven innings back on May 31 in a demanding fashion, it wasn’t an easy go around in the second matchup of the season. With both teams coming off of losses, the game was a grind, but the Mustangs (12-3) ended up on top.
“On the road was pretty tough, we had some downfalls,” catcher Jason Maxson said. “We had kind of a slow start tonight and it took some time to get our groove, but it’s really nice to get the victory here at home.”
Both teams struck early, but the Mustangs scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Shortly after second baseman Jackson Wagner singled, he scored for the Mustangs off of an error by A’s pitcher Seth Sas.
St. Joseph’s early 1-0 lead didn’t last long, though. At the top of the second inning, Clarinda (3-8) scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead where it remained for a majority of the game. Clarinda’s DH Kendrick Delima scored the first run after short stop Nathaniel Bentura singled. That was followed by first baseman Andrew Paulsey scoring the go-ahead run off of a Mahlyk Davis error.
“I feel like our guys were just going through the motions just a little bit too much,” team manager Johnny Coy said. “Summer ball is a grind. We are out here playing every day, we got in at like 4 A.M. two days in a row from Jefferson City. Guys are tired and worn down a little bit, but they know that they can ask for a day off.”
While the game remained scoreless for the next five innings, Davis had three strikeouts and gave up three hits. He was relieved by Ryan Scharf in the top of the seventh inning, who finished with four strikeouts in two innings. Jake Purl came in at the top of the ninth inning and finished it off for the Mustangs by not allowing any hits and recording one strikeout.
The Mustangs retook the lead at the bottom of the seventh inning after a three-run home run by catcher Jason Maxson to make it 4-2. Second baseman Jack Wagner and Jackson Dierenfeldt were the two Mustangs on base to score.
“We just kept getting guys on base late and stealing bags too. That puts a lot of pressure on the defense, which gives us an advantage. When we put pressure on the other team, it is a lot easier to capitalize on it,” Coy said.
The Mustangs extended the lead even more in the eighth inning after scoring two more runs to eventually win 6-2. The four-run lead was thanks to Karsen Reid stealing home and Hampton Hudson scoring off of an error.
The Mustangs are back at Phil Welch stadium as they play the KC Monarchs tonight at 7 p.m. and look to get another win.