The St. Joseph Mustangs returned home early Friday night as they run ruled the Clarinda A’s by a score of 13-3 in seven innings.
The MINK League establish the run rule this past off-season, indicating that if a team leads by at least 10 runs after seven innings, the game is over. The Mustangs scored in six of the seven innings, and this impressive hitting night was due to the team just having fun, according to catcher Jordan Maxson.
“I think our guys are just relaxing and having fun,” Maxson said. “I am pretty excited for the rest of the season has to hold after these first two big scoring games.”
With Clarinda not scoring until the fifth inning, St. Joseph had a comfortable lead all game long. The Mustangs started off the game strong by having back-to-back triples by Maxson and Karson Reid in the first inning to get three runs scored.
“They looked really relaxed out there, they’re getting good swings out there on good pitches,” Mustangs manager Johnny Coy said. “We are hitting the ball well pretty early in the season.”
After keeping the A’s scoreless through most of the game, the Mustangs scored six more runs in between the third and fourth innings. Due to a series of errors by the A’s, three of the four Mustangs runs in the fourth inning were unearned, as they went up 9-0.
“We’re having a lot of fun. These guys are adjusting well to the crowd a lot quicker I thought they would. We’re just having a blast, and it’s contagious,” Coy said.
While the Mustangs gained a big lead, the A’s finally ended the shutout attempt. Pitcher Mahlyk Davis was pulled in the fifth inning and replaced by Tom Beliveau after having three strikeouts and earning a 3.18 ERA. The A’s scored three runs in the fifth and sixth inning to temporarily narrow the lead to 9-3.
“Mahlyk had a great night, but he left a few balls out there. He got a lot of pitches on him and got a little tired, so they were able to get a few good swings on him,” Coy said.
However, the Mustangs ended the game early by scoring one run in each of the last two innings to get a 10-run lead and come out on top, thanks to the new league rule.
“It’s actually a pretty good rule,” Maxson said. “We don’t necessarily want to get out of here, but that saves a lot of pitches for the summer.”
The Mustangs are looking to continue the strong start as they play the Chillicothe Mudcats at Phil Welch Stadium tonight at 7 p.m.