A seven-run first inning for the St. Joseph Mustangs set the tone early, as they were able to beat the Clarinda A’s 15-9 night in Clarinda, Iowa.

Terrance Spurlin started the scoring off with an RBI single in the first inning scoring Jackson Dierendfeldt, who had reached on an error to open the inning. Then with two on and one out, Karl Koerper hit his second home run in two days, giving the Mustangs an early 4-0 lead. The Mustangs would add three more runs in the inning. In total they sent 12 to the plate in the first inning and scored seven runs on six hits and two walks.

The A’s were forced to make a pitching change early. A’s starter Will Hanafan pitched just one inning. The A’s brought in pitcher Casey Zarr in the second and he fell victim to the Mustangs offense as well, surrendering a two-run double to Mustangs outfielder Max Mircovich. This gave the Mustangs a 9-0 lead at the end of two-innings.

Mustangs starting pitcher Alec Byous went seven innings in the win, giving up five runs on 10 hits. He struck out five.

The Mustangs did have to fend off a comeback by the A’s. The A’s scored three in the seventh and four in the eighth to make it a 12-9 game heading into the final inning. The Mustangs responded by scoring three in the inning, highlighted by a Jordan Maxson‘s two-run home run. Ryan Scharf pitched a scorless ninth and secured the Mustangs fifth straight win.

Maxson ended the night with a game high of four hits. Koerper added three hits and 4 RBIs. The Mustangs are now 26-9 (20-7 MINK) on the season and have a two-game lead in the division with less than two weeks left in season.

Chris Tenpenny can be reached at chris.tenpenny@newspressnow.com.