After two early home runs the Mustangs never matched the offensive firepower they showed in the first inning. But ultimately, they didn’t need to.
Highlighted by two home runs in the Mustang’s (3-0, 3-0 MINK) first three at bats, they beat the Chillicothe Mudcats 7-6 on Saturday at Phil Welch Stadium.
The Mustangs escaped a bases loaded situation in the first and followed it up with home runs by Jackson Dierenfeldt and Karl Koerper on the first and fourth at bats of the game for St. Joseph, totaling three RBIs.
Mustangs manager Johnny Coy commented on the pair of hits..
“It was awesome, we got up on them early, I feel like we kind of coasted and relaxed a bit late,” Coy said. “I told the guys, you can’t relax against the good teams in this league. You relax, they’ll make it into the game.”
Audience members expecting a batting showcase after the first period were sorely disappointed, as the Mustangs labored to muster a solid inning at the plate. While they managed singular runs in the second and sixth innings, the Mudcats crawled back late.
Chillicothe tied the game up in the 8th inning as the Mustangs offense stagnated, and with bases loaded the team’s hopes for a win fell on the shoulders of relief pitcher Jake Purl.
Purl performed admirably, minimizing damage in the eighth inning before delivering a perfect inning in the ninth.
Coy touched on the potential of Purl, a newcomer to the Mustangs who he thinks could have limited time with the team.
“I don’t expect him to be with us much longer, I think someone’s going to draft him or pick him up as a free agent. If somebody doesn’t take him, they’re out of their minds,” Coy said. “That kid is unbelieveable, he throws a lot of strikes and competes on the mound. He came in and got us out of a jam. We’re gonna enjoy it while he’s with us.”
With two outs on the board and a runner in scoring position, Dierenfeldt took the plate with the game on the line. With a walk-off grounder taking a favorable over a Chillicothe infielder, the player who started off the game with a home run ended it with a game winner.
Dierenfeldt reflected on one of the best singular performances of the young season.
“I’m not really much of a home run hitter and I’ve never hit a walkoff, so that was really cool,” Dierenfeldt said. “Stepping up to the plate in front of everybody, there’s nerves coming through you, but I think I dealt with them pretty well since I was able to come through in the end.”
After the first week of the season, the Mustangs have started with a perfect record. Coy touched on the team’s hot start.
“We’re having a lot of fun,” Coy said. “We’ve got more guys coming who are solid Division I players, and they’ll help us even more. But until those guys are here, we’re going to keep grinding it out trying to get wins.”