Cam Bednar threw for eight innings at Phil Welch Stadium Saturday, helping the Mustangs to a 11-2 win over the Joplin Outlaws.
Bednar had more than 100 pitches through his outing, striking out seven while allowing eight hits.
The only run to his name was scored in the top of the second inning, when Mike Million hit a home run.
Manager Johnny Coy spoke high of the ace’s performance against the Outlaws (18-16, 12-15 MINK), as well as the entire season.
“He knows his baseball career is winding down,” Coy said. “He should be playing professionally after this summer, but so far he hasn’t gotten any calls yet, but if he can continue to go out there and compete, he gives us a chance to win every time on the mound.”
Offense was no shortage for the Mustangs (27-9, 21-7 MINK), matching its 11 runs with an identical number of hits. It came after a short trail.
The Outlaws took a lead over St. Joseph in the top of the first inning. The offense responded in the bottom of the first for the second straight night, loading the bases on two separate occasions.
The first five batters of the frame’s second half reached base, working their way through Joplin starting pitcher Dalton Weaver. It resulted in a 3-1 lead for St. Joseph.
The Mustangs worked their way through Weaver through the next two innings, scoring five more runs. He exited the game after the fourth, giving up seven hits.
“We took the bat really well,” Coy said. “Our guys are having a lot of fun, they’re relaxed, they’re calm. We’re swinging good and fast together. Hopefully we keep going, we stay hot.”
Second baseman Jackson Dierenfeldt began the Mustangs’ offensive power, carrying off the four-for-five performance he had Friday.
Dierenfeldt eventually crossed home plate with the help of a double by first baseman Terrance Spurlin. The double also scored right fielder Dylan Ketch.
St. Joseph’s third run was scored through a sacrifice hit by third baseman Drew Beazley.
Both teams added singles in the second to keep the game within 4-2.
“We’re squaring the ball up a lot, every chance we have to get out there,” Coy said. I feel like I’m very confident that our guys are going to make solid contact, take good pitches. We’re hitting the ball well.”
The Mustangs loaded the bases yet again in the third. A double by Dierenfeldt turned into an error for Joplin, scoring Karl Koerper, Beazley and Hussey.
Dierenfeldt scored before the inning’s end, advancing the Mustangs’ lead to 8-2. The score stuck until the bottom of the seventh, when the Mustangs added three more, including a race to home plate by Hussey.
The Mustangs remain atop of the MINK North, holding a 2.5 game lead over the Chillicothe Mudcats.
St. Joseph aims to advance its lead as it travels to take on Chillicothe at 6:05 p.m. today.