It hasn’t taken long for the St. Joseph Mustangs to get back to form despite an offseason of turnover and flux.
On Saturday, they gained a two-game lead on the Nevada Griffons in their first MINK League series of the summer with a convincing 8-4 victory at Phil Welch Stadium on the backs of strong pitching performances and to go with explosive hitting late in the game.
Mustangs manager Johnny Coy described how it feels to get his new squad back in the swing of things.
“It feels good. The guys are starting to relax a little more and not try to do to much at the plate. I see us getting better and better and I expect us to continue to be better,” Coy said. “We’re a deep team with a lot of guys, I think we can throw any lineup out there and I feel we could compete with anybody. Every person we put on the mound competes and gives us a chance to win, and that’s what we’re gonna keep doing the rest of the year. I like this team a lot and even just a few games in I’m having a blast.”
Brennon Covington started on the mound in the contest and immediately made his case to be one of the team’s most consistent pitchers, striking out ten batters through six innings.
Relief pitcher Ronnie Wigginton put on a clinic as well, allowing only two additional runs through the game’s end.
But it was the bottom of the sixth for the Mustangs (3-1, 2-0 MINK) that saw them break a 3-3 tie and pile on five runs to turn a nail-biter into a near blowout.
Spearheading the effort was the starting trio of designated hitter Malik Williams, first baseman Alex Phillips and catcher Brady Garrison, whose successive base hits resulted in two runs without putting a single out on the board for the Mustangs.
“Our bats are starting to click a bit,” Coy said. “I think we’ve been trying to do a little too much with our at-bats and we haven’t had the success we like, but things have been getting better.”
Though the Griffons (0-2, 0-2) managed another run to add on to their total in the seventh inning, it didn’t do much to chip away at the sudden and commanding Mustangs lead.
The Mustangs will return to Phil Welch Stadium at 7 p.m. Wednesday to play the Chillicothe Mudcats.