If the St. Joseph Mustangs hope to make the MINK League playoffs and avoid going on the road for first round one-game series, they will need to make a push over the final two weeks of the season.
Going into tonight’s game against the Sedalia Bombers, the Mustangs (19-17, 16-16) are one game back of the Clarinda A’s in third place in the MINK League North. The defending league champions have just 11 games remaining on their schedule, 10 that count towards their league record.
“We’re getting to the point where every game is huge now,” Mustangs manager Johnny Coy said. “We have to take every game like its do or die. It’s that point in the season where every loss is big, especially when we’re playing these north teams.”
With a six-game playoff format, the No. 2 seed in each division hosts the No. 3 seed for a shot at taking on the No. 1 seed for a trip to the championship round.
After a tough ending to June, the Mustangs started off the new month with four wins in a seven-game week. The Mustangs were close to having nearly a perfect week, losing two of the three games by two runs or less.
“We swung the bat really well,” Coy said. “We’re starting to pitch better, we’re starting to compete better every day so that is definitely a plus sign for us.”
Along with the positive pitching performances and ability to swing the bats last week, Coy noticed the team’s mentality improve.
“We just need guys who are going to come together and step up,” Coy said. “We’re starting to have a lot more fun now. I can tell. Guys are having more fun in the dugout, there hasn’t been as much tension and, hopefully, we can continue that the rest of the summer.”
The Mustangs had the day off Monday and will have another day off on Wednesday. Between those two off days will be the road trip to Sedalia, the top team in the league with a 21-9 record.
The team will return home on Thursday to take on the team just above them in the division standings, the Clarinda A’s.
“It’s up for grabs right now,” Coy said. “Us, Chillicothe and Clarinda are up for that second spot. It’s up for grabs, whoever plays well will get it and it’s important for us to play well in those six games we have against Clarinda coming up.”
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sedalia.